A middleweight fight between the struggling Johny Hendricks and Hector Lombard is reportedly being targeted for UFC’s Fox Sports 1 card from Halifax on Feb. 19. Ariel Helwani was the first to report the news.
Hendricks, a former UFC Welterweight Champion, is coming off of three straight losses to Robbie Lawler, Stephen Thompson, and most recently, Neil Magny. Hendricks has had issues making the 170 lb. weight limit over this span, including missing out on a fight with Tyron Woodley after a bad weight cut. Hendricks missed weight by 2.5 pounds for the Magny fight and proclaimed a move up to middleweight soon after weigh-ins.
Lombard is coming off of consecutive losses himself to Magny and Dan Henderson. Before that, Lombard had tested positive for steroids and missed a year of action after a decision win over Josh Burkman at UFC 182.
The Halifax Fight Night card recently suffered a blow to the main event, as Stefan Struve was forced to pull out of his fight with Junior dos Santos due to injury. While UFC is still advertising the bout on their website, it is believed that dos Santos will be pulled from the show with no viable opponent available.
There is no word on whether the Hendricks-Lombard fight will serve as the new main event or not. Elias Theodorou vs. Cezar Ferreira is currently the second from the top matchup.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: Hendricks really needed to move up to middleweight since it seems he just doesn’t have the discipline to make 170 consistently. He will likely find himself very much oversized by many of the top middleweights, so the Lombard matchup is a good first test for Hendricks at 185. Lombard, while very muscular, has also fought at 170, and both men are 5-9 so the size difference shouldn’t be overwhelming for Hendricks. Many fighters have seen success in moving up a weight class recently, most notably Kelvin Gastelum, so this could be a good chance for a career resurgence for Hendricks. If it isn’t, he and many fans will be left wondering what could have been.
WEDNESDAY NEWS DIGEST…
-Sunday’s UFC Fight Night on FS1 averaged 1.1 million viewers. Much of the broadcast was head-to-head with the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Kansas City Chiefs NFL game.
-Amanda Nunes will be guest on “Live with Kelly” tomorrow.
-Conor McGregor has filed for several trademarks including his name “Conor McGregor” and “The Notorious” according to ESPN. The filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office says the trademarks will be used with products such as aftershave, video games, books, clothing, restaurants, barbershops, and health clubs.
-Nate Diaz has applied for and is expected to receive his boxing license in Nevada shortly.
-A follow up on yesterday’s story on Angela Hill being rebooked to fight for UFC after having a fight cancelled last month. UFC and USADA have decided that because Hill was cut from UFC and didn’t retire or voluntarily leave the company, that she would be exempt from the four-month testing window for returning fighters. UFC claimed in a statement that they and USADA are in the process of refining the Anti-Doping Policy to only enforce the four-month rule on fighters who leave the testing pool voluntarily.
-World Series of Fighting has postponed their Feb. 28 event until March 18. The event did not have a location and only one fight announced, a heavyweight championship fight between Blagoy Ivanov and Shawn Jordan. There is still no location or venue announced for the rescheduled show.
(MMATorch’s Daily News Digest features the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Mike Hiscoe, who writes the News Digest Sundays through Thursdays, has a background in film criticism and previously wrote for the DVD Town and Movie Metropolis websites. His passion for Mixed Martial Arts goes back to 2005, but it was in the promotion for UFC 60: Hughes vs. Gracie that he really got hooked.”This is my house, I build it,” is still among the all-time great UFC promos. You can follow Mike on social media under the tag @mikehiscoe. He now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)