Johny Hendricks will get one more chance to compete as a welterweight, so it seems.
The former UFC welterweight champion meets Stephen “Wonderyboy” Thompson in the co-main event at UFC 196 on Super Bowl weekend, the promotion announced late Saturday.
Hendricks was last scheduled to face Tyron Woodley at UFC 192 in Houston, Texas in a considerably important fight for the welterweight division’s title picture. Long seen as a relatively heavy fighter for the 170-pound weight class, “Bigg Rigg” once again struggled to cut weight before UFC 192. He never had a chance to step on the scales this time around, admitting himself into a hospital with dehydration issues.
UFC President Dana White immediately said he would no longer schedule Hendricks for any fights at 170 pounds, claiming he would need to move up to middleweight.
Prior to the weight-cutting issue, Hendricks had gone 3-2 in his previous five.
He meets a streaking up-and-coming fighter in Thompson on Feb. 6 in Las Vegas. “Wonderboy” has gone 5-0 since dropping his first career loss to Matt Brown in 2012. He most recently stopped Jake Ellenberger in the first round of their contest at The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale.
Also scheduled for the Super Bowl weekend card is a heavyweight clash between Roy “Big Country” Nelson and Jared Rosholt.
Headlining UFC 196 is a heavyweight title rematch between Fabricio Werdum and Cain Velasquez. The two met earlier this year; Werdum submitted the former champion in the third round of the main event at UFC 188 in Mexico City.