Robbie Lawler retained his Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight title by knocking out Rory MacDonald in the co-main event of UFC 189, which went down on July 11, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada, in what proved to be a "Fight of the Year" candidate.
Johny Hendricks already made it known that he wants the next shot, as he expects to get a rubber match against "Ruthless" to settle their score. And during his recent appearance on The MMA Hour, "Bigg Rigg" revealed that he's already started training, despite not getting the green light from UFC.
"I figure it makes perfect sense. He's going to get some time to relax and let his body heal, but other than that, I don't know much. All I can do is keep training and doing what I need to do. But hopefully, I get that call soon and they tell me it's going to happen. Realistically, look at my last couple of years, I fight in March and then late November or early December. So it syncs perfect with my timeline. There are things I can get better on. My weight cuts have gone well, there are just some more things I need to tweak. Now that I know, in my eyes that it is going to be Robbie Lawler, we're already training for that. Does that make sense? That is what makes me happy is that I'm starting to train for him. He's got to take time to recover, which in my mind is perfect. Let him recover, we're probably going to be fighting in early December or November. It just helped me get better prepared for the fight."
The only problem is, UFC officials have yet to confirm that Johny will indeed get the next crack at the crown. But if you look at the current 170-pound landscape, there really isn't another fighter who screams "title contender."
Of course, Joe Silva and Co. may opt to try to convince Hendricks to sign on the dotted line to face Tyron Woodley in what could be a title eliminator bout. Something that could be a task in and of itself, as Johny is adamant the only fight that makes sense for him is one pitting him against Lawler.
After that, "Bigg Rigg" isn't opposed to opening new chapters.