Lost in the craziness of the weekend, the UFC announced several new fights for the Feb. 6 Super Bowl weekend pay-per-view UFC 196, including a significant welterweight fight between Johny Hendricks and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.
In addition to that fight, the UFC announced during Saturday’s UFC 194 broadcast the following fights: Roy Nelson vs. Jared Rosholt, Josh Burkman vs. K.J. Noons, and Mike Pyle vs. Shawn Spencer.
Hendricks, the former UFC Welterweight Champion, is getting his wish to stick at welterweight despite a disastrous weight cut that canceled his fight with Tyron Woodley at UFC 192 in October. He’d been trying to get back to a title fight after dropping the belt to Robbie Lawler last December, though his path has become murkier given what happened in October.
As for Thompson, he’s won six of seven appearances in the UFC, including his last five straight. He pulled off an excellent victory over Jake Ellenberger in July, catching him with a spinning hook kick to take him out in the first round at The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale.
Nelson may be getting one last chance to keep his run alive in the UFC. He’s lost five of his last six, including three straight. He most recently dropped a decision in a five round fight against Josh Barnett in September. Rosholt, meanwhile, has won six of seven fights, but his wins haven’t been all that entertaining, likely leading to the current matchup.
Burkman’s dropping down to lightweight for the first time in desperate need of a win. He’s won just one fight in his last five, and got stopped by Patrick Cote in his most recent outing. Noons comes back to lightweight after a welterweight fight in May which saw him get submitted in the first round by Alex Oliveira.
Finally, Pyle and Spencer each enter this card off losses, Pyle to Colby Covington at UFC 187 and Spencer to Cathal Pendred in January in one of the worst decisions of the year. Pyle’s lost three of his last four, while Spencer is 3-3 overall in the Octagon.
UFC 196 hits the MGM Grand Garden Arena on pay-per-view, headlined by the UFC Heavyweight Championship rematch between Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez.