Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Hendricks' injury bad for champion, good for UFC

Go ahead and add Johny Hendricks to the long list of people who are exponentially tougher than you – he’s certainly earned the spot, after revealing he won the UFC welterweight championship with an injured bicep.

“I tried to keep it a secret,” Hendricks said to Fox Sports. “I wasn’t gonna tell anybody anything about it. I didn’t want it to take away anything that Robbie (Lawler) did.”

An unfortunate injury for Hendricks, seeing as he’ll be out of commission for a little more than two months.

Good news for the UFC and its welterweight division, though. Now they can find themselves a true title contender.

If you follow the sport with moderate eyes and ears, you’ve probably been exposed to all of the ruckus following the main event last Saturday at UFC 171 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas – we now have a new champion with nobody to challenge him.

Who should Johny Hendricks fight next?

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Not Hector Lombard, who tossed former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields around en route to a unanimous decision on Saturday. Lombard came out looking strong, further illustrating the drop from the 185 to 170-pound division to be a brilliant career move for the Cuban-Australian fighter. He seemed to gas midway through the fight, though, and coasted from that point on while his corner kept yelling at him to keep fighting.

He shouldn’t get the title shot.

Neither should Tyron Woodley, who looked impressive in his first round affair against former UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit. Woodley looked fast and strong against the “Natural Born Killer.” Woodley’s victory did little for his credibility, though. Carlos Condit tore his ACL and the fight would end by way of TKO – the least convincing kind of TKO there is.

Unfortunate for Woodley, but he needs to prove himself a bit more before the UFC slots him in against Hendricks.

Rory MacDonald’s name was also thrown in the mix. MacDonald, Georges St-Pierre’s former teammate at TriStar Gym in Montreal, Canada, is fresh off of another unanimous victory against former middleweight title contender Demian Maia. Probably one of the more impressive victories MacDonald’s had in recent memory, but he also lost in November in a title-eliminator match against Lawler.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Throw MacDonald in with all the other unconvincing title challengers.

Finally, there was Nick Diaz. Literally, he was just there at UFC 171. He said he’s ready to come out of retirement and fight – but only a title fight, of course. The guy hasn’t won a fight since 2011 – against a guy, in BJ Penn, who’s fighting at 145 pounds now, mind you. He lost a unanimous decision to Condit in 2012 for the UFC interim and retired. Then, with no other fights in between, he was inexplicably given a shot at St-Pierre and his welterweight strap in 2013 – he lost by unanimous decision and retired, again.

It’s hard to tell if he’s being serious or not; it’s also hard to imagine anyone agreeing with him, regardless.

With Hendricks out for at least two months and the division’s challengers in disarray, now’s the time for the UFC to quickly throw these four fighters into title-eliminators and find themselves a true title contender for Hendricks.

Fingers crossed, though. We wouldn’t want any freak injuries or incompetent ringside judges to prolong this process any further.

Tags: Hector Lombard Johny Hendricks Nick Diaz Rory MacDonald Tyron Woodley UFC 171

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