Two major upcoming welterweight fights will establish who gets the next shot at the title according to UFC President Dana White.

Recently announced bouts between Johny Hendricks and Matt Brown at UFC 185 on March 14th, and Rory MacDonald Vs Hector Lombard on April 25th feature four of the top six contenders at 170lbs, and it appears that whoever impresses most will go on to fight current champion Robbie Lawler later in the year.

That’s bound to be disappointing news for Hendricks given that White had previously stated that he would be heading straight into a trilogy fight with Lawler.

However, it’s emerged that Lawler had asked for more time off after a relentless drive to the top spot in the division that saw him fight five times in 13 months, and that resulted in the UFC changing their plans and moving Hendricks to fight Brown instead.

Hendricks remains the No.1 contender as things stand though, so if he can overcome ‘The Immortal’ then there’s a good chance he will stil end up facing Lawler.

Needless to say the other three fighters will have other plans though, not least MacDonald who had also been promised the next title shot by White following a three fight winning streak took him to No.2 in the divisional rankings, only to have it taken away when a close rematch between Hendricks and Lawler steered them towards a third encounter between them.

So, it’s been a somewhat messy situation at the top of the 170lb ranks recently and while it’ll suit some of the fighters involved more than others, at least there’s now a solid plan in place to establish who fights Lawler next.