UFC 171: HENDRICKS VS. LAWLER Date: Mar. 15, 2013 Location: American Airlines Arena — Dallas, TX Broadcast: PPV UFC Welterweight Johny Hendricks (-290) Profile: Johny Hendricks (15-2) was riding a six-fight winning streak into his title shot against Georges St-Pierre, with wins over Carlos Condit, and a quick knockout of Martin Kampmann. The 29-year-old Hendricks was a two-time NCAA wrestling champion at Oklahoma State and also previously knocked out Koscheck’s teammate Jon Fitch in just 12 seconds at UFC 141 on December 30, 2011. He is the only fighter in UFC history to knock out two different opponents in less than a minute. The only loss for Hendricks in his MMA career came by UD against Rick Story at The Ultimate Fighter 12 Finale on December 4, 2010. He is 10-1 in the UFC overall, with five of the wins resulting in a TKO/KO and four of them ending in the first round. Four of his past six bouts have earned post-fight bonuses, including three Knockouts of the Night. He fell short in his bid to capture the welterweight title at UFC 167, even though many believed he won the split-decision against GSP, beating up the champ like no one else ever had before. A rematch is not in the books, however, as Hendricks will face Robbie Lawler for the vacant welterweight title after GSP vacated the belt and stepped away from the sport. UFC Welterweight Robbie Lawler (+210) Profile: Robbie Lawler (22-9, 1 NC) is one of the last of the old guard as w Miletich Fighting System pupil, born out of the Matt Hughes, Jens Pulver and Tim Sylvia fighting school of the world. Lawler began fighting when he was 19-years-old, and made his UFC debut way back in the day at UFC 37. Since then, Lawler has beaten and lost to a who’s who in the sport, including knocking out Frank Trigg, Melvin Manhoef, Matt Lindland and more. Post UFC, he was up and down in Strikeforce’s middleweight division, still showing his awesome knockout power occasionally but mostly being outgrappled by larger men. Since returning to the UFC in 2013 and returning to the welterweight division, Lawler has been on a three-fight win streak, knocking out Josh Koscheck, Bobby Voelker and dominating contender Rory MacDonald at UFC 167. With GSP vacating his welterweight belt, Johny Hendricks has been matched up against Lawler to find a new welterweight champion at UFC 171. Opening UFC Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Hendricks a -290 betting favorite (bet $290 to win $100), while Lawler opened as a +210 underdog (bet $100 to win $210) at Several Bookmakers. This is an epic matchup that will determine who will become the new UFC welterweight champion after former titleholder Georges St-Pierre vacated the title. Hendricks is of course coming off of what many consider a win over GSP, and in most people’s eyes he should have the belt around his waist right now. But as we all know, the judges didn’t give it to him and now he’ll have to prove himself again against Lawler, who is coming off of three impressive wins in th UFC welterweight division over Rory MacDonald, Bobby Voelker, and Josh Koscheck. This fight between Lawler and Hendricks is evenly matched with both men having very good MMA wrestling and both having KO power in their fists. However, all the hype is behind Hendricks right now and that’s why he opened as a favorite here. And while I agree he should be favored to win, Lawler can never, ever be counted out of a fight and it wouldn’t shock me at all if he was able to beat the odds and win the vacant UFC welterweight championship of the world next March.