Now that Johny Hendricks appears to have finally secured a title fight with welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre, the search for the next number one contender will soon get underway. Yes, Carlos Condit is currently ranked #2 in the division, but since the rugged vet is coming off losses to GSP and Hendricks, even if he blows away Martin Kampmann on August 28th, he likely won’t get tapped for a title shot.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons why Jake Ellenberger says he’s been told his UFC on FOX 8 fight with Rory MacDonald is to determine the new number one contender. While speaking to Rebellion Media’s Rick Lee, the powerful welterweight has this to say about the July 27th fight:

“I was told when I signed this fight with Rory MacDonald that it was going to be the number one contender fight, which is exactly why I signed it. Regardless of who the name is, you could have put any name in there and I would have signed the contract. That’s the only reason I’m in the sport, fighting for that title, and I don’t want to waste my time. After the fight with Rory I will be the number one contender.”

Since MacDonald is currently ranked #3 in the division, and Ellenberger is #4, it’s not surprising to hear that the bout could determine who will challenge for the belt next. Of course, as any studious MMA fans knows, bouts to determine #1 contenders doesn’t always mean that the winner actually fights for the title next (or even for prolonged periods of time).

Case in point, if Hendricks wins will GSP get an immediate rematch? If GSP wins, and so does MacDonald, will the Tristar teammates fight? Interesting questions to consider no? Regardless of all that, MacDonald-Ellenberger has “awesome” written all over it.