When Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) booked the Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler fight at UFC 171, which took place last Saturday night (March 15, 2014) inside American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas, it new it was going to crown a new welterweight champion (watch it happen here).
It also knew the first question fans would have is, "who's next?"
With that in mind, the production team leaned on longtime UFC color commentator Joe Rogan, who is of the opinion that 170-pound wunderkind Rory MacDonald -- who trains with the temporarily removed Georges St. Pierre at TriStar gym in Canada -- was probably the best choice.
And some fans had a real problem with that.
To help clear the air, the former "Fear Factor" host took to The Underground to explain the whys and wherefores behind the decision to prominently feature "Ares" at the conclusion of UFC 171, and regrettably, it's not as scandalous as you may have initially thought.
"Picking Rory over the other contenders to challenge for the title next was another complaint. The production had a list of fighters that are listed in the top contenders that they wanted me to pick one guy to challenge the title after the end of the event. It's only my opinion and it certainly doesn't mean that fighter will get the next shot. The reason I went with Rory is what I stated: I thought Woodley looked awesome, but the reality is Carlos blew his knee out on the take down and then it gave out when Tyron kicked him. Tyron was really impressive in the opening of the 1st with his insane speed and ability to close the distance and I would LOVE to see him fight anyone. For the title or not. The guy is a stud. It was just my opinion given the information in front of me after that event that if I had to choose one guy I would have to go with Rory. No one asked me to choose Rory, no one pressured me in any way or influenced me in any way. It's just my opinion. I would love to see Dong Hyun Kim in the mix as well. They didn't have him on the short list of guys, but I would like to see him fight any of the people I just mentioned, for the title or not. Matt Brown is another guy in the mix. He hurt his back recently, but I'm hoping he can heal up and get back in the running."
It will be interesting to see where everyone is ranked in the wake of UFC 171.
MacDonald is sitting pretty at number four (see the most recent rankings here), but with Carlos Condit and Jake Shields losing -- which equates to wins for Tyron Woodley and Hector Lombard -- the welterweight division is completely up for grabs and there really weren't any performances last weekend that screamed "title shot."
Maybe that explains this new variable.
For more UFC 171 results and fallout check out our live story stream with videos, recaps, highlights and more right here.