After today’s news that Georges St.Pierre has vacated his welterweight title in order to take time off from the sport, the UFC were quick to announce a new match-up which will establish who becomes the new champion.
That honor will fall to Johny Hendricks who’s currently ranked as the top contender in the division and Robbie Lawler who is No.3 on the contenders list at this moment in time. They will now fight in the co-main event of UFC 171 in Texas on March 15th.
Dana White noted that Carlos Condit wasn’t considered for the fight since he had recently lost to both GSP and Hendricks, but that he hoped to have Condit fight on the same card, though his opponent hasn’t been announced yet.
With that in mind it seems likely that the winner of Condit’s next fight would be lined up to face the winner of Hendricks and Lawler as the UFC attempts to reinvigorate the division in the wake of GSP’s absence.
Hendricks was always going to be the obvious choice to fight for the title after his controversial loss to GSP last month which ended a six fight unbeaten stretch.
Lawler has also made a big impact since rejoining the UFC from Strikeforce and moving down to 170lbs, notching up three wins against fighters like Josh Koscheck and most recently Rory MacDonald.
The general feeling was that Lawler would probably need at least one more win to get a shot at the belt, but today’s news changes everything, and what White says about Condit makes sense, while another of the division’s top 10 fighters Matt Brown is ruled out for the time being due to a herniated disc that forced him out of tomorrow night’s show on FOX.