MMA Odds and Ends for Tuesday: Hendricks/Lawler II Set For UFC 181

Hendricks Lawler The UFC welterweight championship will once again be up for grabs, this time on December 6 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, as UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks returns from an arm injury to take on Robbie Lawler in a rematch for the 170lb-belt, which serves as the main event of UFC 181. The headliner for UFC 181 was originally set to be Chris Weidman vs. Vitor Belfort for the UFC middleweight championship, but Weidman broke his hand this week and will need time off to heal it. So the UFC shifted Weidman vs. Belfort until February and now Hendricks vs. Lawler II takes its spot as the UFC 181 main event. The first fight between Hendricks and Lawler, which took place this past march at UFC 171, was one of the best fights of 2014 and it resulted in Hendricks winning a unanimous decision to be crowned the new UFC welterweight champion. This rematch should be just as good, if not better, and UFC 181 is likely to be one of the bigger PPVs of the rest of the year as it also features a co-main event pitting UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis vs. Gilbert Melendez. As far as the line goes, look for one to open up soon with Hendricks as the favorite to defend his 170lb belt. Ray Borg vs. Richie Vaculik, UFC Fight Night 55 A 125lb bout between Ray Borg and Richie Vaculik is the latest addition to UFC Fight Night 55, which takes place November 8 at Allphones Arena in Sydney, Australia. This is very good matchmaking here as Vaculik is a veteran while Borg is an up-and-comer, and with both men coming off of a win it makes sense to pit them against one another. Having said that, I really do favor Borg in this fight by a large margin as I believe there’s a big skill gap here, but either way it should be a fun fight while it lasts. Jussier Formiga vs. John Moraga, UFC on FOX 13 A flyweight bout between Jussier Formiga and John Moraga has been added to UFC on FOX 13, which takes place December 13 at U.S. Airways Arena in Phoenix, Arizona. This is a fight between two of the top-five flyweights in the world and could very well result in the next title challenger for UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson. This is a really competitive fight and I honestly know who wins it. I’ll lean towards Formiga ever-so-slightly because I believe he has the overall grappling advantage, but Moraga is a really tough guy to beat and it wouldn’t shock me at all if he picked up and upset win in this spot. Ben Saunders vs. Joe Riggs, UFC on FOX 13 As well, a welterweight bout between Ben Saunders and Joe Riggs will take place at UFC on FOX 13. This fight between the two veterans should be fun to watch, but I think this is all Saunders here, as I believe he’s a bad matchup for Riggs. Look for Saunders to be a big favorite in this fight as he continues to try and make waves at 170lbs. Anthony Birchak vs. Ian Entwistle, UFC on FOX 13 And finally, a bantamweight contest between Anthony Birchak and Ian Entwistle was also added to UFC on FOX 13. Entwistle is a solid submission fighter but Birchak is one of the most well-rounded 135lbers out there and certainly someone to keep an eye out for. I believe Birchak wins this fight, and think he should be favored a decent amount heading into it.

Written by Adam Martin.

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