Hendricks has been waiting for a third bout with UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler, but he’s going to have to go through Woodley first.
Hendricks (17-3) won the vacant champion by defeating Lawler at UFC 171, but then had it taken from him by Lawler nine months later at UFC 181. Hendricks went on to win a unanimous decision over Matt Brown at UFC 185, thinking he would then get another shot at Lawler.
Lawler instead defended against Rory MacDonald at UFC 189 over the summer, and appears to be targeted for a title defense against Carlos Condit at UFC 193 in November.
Woodley (15-3) has been zeroing in on a bout with Hendricks for a long time. Perhaps ever since their Big 12 collegiate wrestling championship match in 2005. Hendricks bested Woodley in the division championship match before moving on to win his first of two National Championships.
Like Hendricks, Woodley has been angling for a title shot. He’s won four out of his last five bouts, including victories over Condit, Don Hyun Kim, and Kelvin Gastelum. A win over Hendricks would likely put Woodley in the thick of talks for the next UFC welterweight title shot after Lawler vs. Condit.
The welterweight showdown between Hendricks and Woodley joins a loaded UFC 192 fight card headlined by Daniel Cormier‘s first light heavyweight title defense, as he faces Alexander Gustafsson. Other bouts featured on the card include Ryan Bader vs. Rashad Evans and Jessica Eye vs. Jessica Penne.