The throne will not have sat vacant for long.
Johny Hendricks on his second attempt tipped the scales at 170 pounds for his five-round showdown with Robbie Lawler (170) in the UFC 171 main event, as the two prepare to meet for the vacant Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight crown -- longtime champion Georges St. Pierre surrendered the title in December to take an indefinite leave of absence -- on Saturday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas. Welterweight co-headliners Carlos Condit (170.5) and Tyron Woodley (170) also met their contracted weight requirements without issue at Friday’s official weigh-in.
Hendricks was a four-time NCAA All-American wrestler and two-time national champion at Oklahoma State University. The 30-year-old Ada, Okla., native has compiled a 9-2 record since touching down in the UFC in August 2009, first-round knockouts against “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 7 winner Amir Sadollah, American Kickboxing Academy mainstay Jon Fitch and Xtreme Couture’s Martin Kampmann anchoring his resume. Hendricks last fought at UFC 167 in November, when he wound up on the wrong side of a contentious and widely panned unanimous decision to St. Pierre.
A Pat Miletich protégé and former EliteXC champion, Lawler has secured 18 of his 22 career victories by knockout or technical knockout. The 31-year-old American Top Team export last appeared in November, when he claimed a split decision over Tristar Gym standout Rory MacDonald at UFC 167. That victory came on the heels of back-to-back finishes against Josh Koscheck and Bobby Voelker. Lawler owns a 7-3 mark inside the Octagon.
UFC 171 “Hendricks vs. Lawler” -- which airs live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT -- will also feature a lightweight clash pairing “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 1 winner Diego Sanchez (155.5) with the unbeaten Myles Jury (156), a welterweight scrap pitting former Bellator MMA champion Hector Lombard (170.5) against Jake Shields (171) and a light heavyweight tilt matching Ovince St. Preux (205) with Nikita Krylov (205).
Two hours prior, Fox Sports 2 will carry four preliminary fights: Kelvin Gastelum (*170) vs. Rick Story (170.5), Raquel Pennington (135.5) vs. Jessica Andrade (135), Dennis Bermudez (146) vs. Jim Hettes (145.5) and Sean Spencer (170) vs. Alex Garcia (170.5). The four remaining undercard bouts will stream to UFC Fight Pass at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT, as Renee Forte (*157) meets Francisco Trevino (155), Will Campuzano (125.5) battles Justin Scoggins (125), Bubba McDaniel (184.5) faces Sean Strickland (185) and Daniel Pineda (145) tackles Robert Whiteford (145).
UFC 171 ‘HENDRICKS VS. LAWLER’ WEIGH-IN RESULTS
Johny Hendricks (*170) vs. Robbie Lawler (170)
Carlos Condit (170.5) vs. Tyron Woodley (170)
Diego Sanchez (155.5) vs. Myles Jury (156)
Hector Lombard (170.5) vs. Jake Shields (171)
Ovince St. Preux (205) vs. Nikita Krylov (205)
Kelvin Gastelum (*170) vs. Rick Story (170.5)
Raquel Pennington (135.5) vs. Jessica Andrade (135)
Dennis Bermudez (146) vs. Jim Hettes (145.5)
Sean Spencer (170) vs. Alex Garcia (170.5)
Renee Forte (*157) vs. Francisco Trevino (155)
Will Campuzano (125.5) vs. Justin Scoggins (125)
Bubba McDaniel (184.5) vs. Sean Strickland (185)
Daniel Pineda (145) vs. Robert Whiteford (145)
* Hendricks originally weighed in at 171.5 pounds but made weight on his second try. Gastelum successfully hit his mark on the third attempt. Forte failed to make weight and will forfeit 20 percent of his purse.