Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler aresupposed to step into the Octagon on Saturday, March 15, to determine a successor to the UFC welterweight championship recently vacated by former titleholder Georges St-Pierre.
The two will clash in the UFC 171: Hendricks vs. Lawler main event at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
First, they had to step on the scales to weigh in and face off for the final time before they start throwing fists at one another in the Octagon, and surprisingly, Hendricks had difficulty hitting the mark.
While Lawler stepped off the scale after weighing in at 170 pounds, Hendricks tipped the scales at 171.5 pounds. Since this is a title fight, he needs to be at or below 170 pounds, there is not one-pound allowance in championship fights, as there is for a non-title bout. (Watch the weigh-in video here.)
“Yeah, it was. I thought we made it. We’ll see what happens,” said Hendricks after facing off with Lawler when asked if he was surprised that he didn’t make weight.
He appeared a little shaken, but not overly concerned, as he added that losing to St-Pierre at UFC 167 motivated him, and he still believes he’ll be fighting for a title on Saturday.
“It’s been actually really good. It’s motivated me in other ways to get this belt,” he said. “Saturday night, it’s gonna be mine.”
Hendricks was given two hours to drop the overage.
Lawler, who had no concerns about his weight, was relaxed and confident.
“I knew I was gonna be here. I always believed in myself. It’s my time,” he said before commenting on his opponent. “He’s an amazing fighter. He’s an amazing wrestler. His skills are high level, and I can’t wait.”
Carlos Condit and Tyron Woodley are the leading candidates to become the first challenger to the victor between Hendricks and Lawler, should Hendricks make weight. Both showed up ready to go, hitting the mark at Friday’s festivities at Gilley’s Dallas.
Another welterweight bout that could launch the winner into contendership is Jake Shields vs. Hector Lombard, both of whom made weight.
Two preliminary fighters failed to hit the mark and were given two hours to make weight. Renee Forte left the stage one pound heavy for his lightweight fight with Francisco Trevino, while Kelvin Gastelum was one-and-a-half pounds over the limit for his welterweight bout with Rick Story.
UPDATE: Forte did not make weight on a second attempt and forfeited 20-percent of his fight purse to his opponent. Gastelum weighed in twice more during the allotted two hours given to make weight, and did end up weighing 170 pounds on his third attempt.
As a side note, there are four UFC 171 preliminary bouts that will air live on Fox Sports 2 prior to the pay-per-view main card, which is a bit of a shift, as the prelims usually air on Fox Sports 1.
Main Card Bouts (on Pay-Per-View):
Johny Hendricks (171.5) vs. Robbie Lawler (170)
Carlos Condit (170.5) vs. Tyron Woodley (170)
Diego Sanchez (155) vs. Myles Jury (156)
Jake Shields (171) vs. Hector Lombard (170)
Ovince St. Preux (205) vs. Nikita Krylov (205)
Preliminary Bouts (on FOX Sports 2):
Kelvin Gastelum (172.5) vs. Rick Story (170.5)
Raquel Pennington (135.5) vs. Jessica Andrade (135)
Dennis Bermudez (146) vs. Jimy Hettes (145.5)
Sean Spencer (170) vs. Alex Garcia (170.5)
Preliminary Bouts (on UFC Fight Pass):
Renee Forte (157) vs. Francisco Trevino (155)
Will Campuzano (125.5) vs. Justin Scoggins (125)
Bubba McDaniel (184.5) vs. Sean Strickland (185)
Daniel Pineda (145) vs. Robert Whiteford (145)
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