It appears that Johny Hendricks (14-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) will not sit back and wait for a title shot after all. “Big Rigg” will instead take on welterweight contender Jake Ellenberger (28-6 MMA, 7-2 UFC) this March at UFC 158 in Montreal.
Ironically, Hendricks will now throw down on the same card as welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre, whom he had desperately hoped to face as his next opponent.
Hendricks, who has won five straight fights, was thought to have earned a welterweight title-shot against current champ GSP when he stopped Martin Kampmann with a one punch at UFC 154 in Montreal. That KO marked Johny’s second one-pounch knockout in his past three contests, including a 12-second KO of contender Jon Fitch at UFC 141. Hendricks also holds victories over Josh Koscheck, Mike Pierce and T.J. Waldburger during his current five fight win-streak.
His opponent, Ellenberger, got back in the win column with his unanimous decision victory over Jay Hieron at UFC on FX “Browne vs. Bigfoot” in October. That win was proceeded by Jake’s first loss in his past 8 fights, which he suffered at the hands of Martin Kampmann at the Ultimate fighter live finale.
With a victory over Ellenberger this March, Hendricks will be all but assured of #1 contenders status in the 170 lbs division. A status which many MMA fans feel he already deserves.
UFC 158 is set go down March 16th at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The card now features three key welterweight match-ups which are as follows:
Georges St. Pierre vs. Nick Diaz – Welterweight championship fight
Carlos Condit vs. Rory MacDonald
Johny Hendricks vs. Jake Ellenberger