Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight champion Johny Hendricks is never in a boring fight and more sizzling action is guaranteed when “Bigg Rigg” makes the first defense of his title this weekend.
Hendricks, 31, faces knockout specialist “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler on UFC 181 at the Mandalay Bay Center, Las Vegas on Saturday.
This is a rematch and their first encounter nine months ago was a thriller. Hendricks won on a split decision and this one promises to be just as entertaining.
Lawler, 32, was a teenage sensation who beat opponents like a seasoned vet, but he lost his focus and started losing regularly. Lawler took a long break from the Octaqon and since returning has looked sensational every time.
Hendricks notoriously piles on the pounds between bouts, going well over the 200 pound mark before adhering to a strict diet to get down to the 170 pound welter limit.
Hendricks seemed more focused on a rematch with the legendary Georges St. Pierre at a press conference earlier this week rather than the Lawler fight.
If Hendricks has not shed the weight sensibly and is distracted by thoughts of enticing St. Pierre out of retirement, indications are that it will be Lawler’s night in another thriller.
The main support bout is UFC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis, facing former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez in his first fight in a year.
Heavyweight battlers Travis Browne and Brendan Schaub are on the bill too and the undercard is stacked with excellent contests, including two female bouts.