We had a pretty good night of fights Sunday. Hendricks and Lombard put on a particularly exciting fight in the co-main event, would have honestly loved to see a fourth round. Just a complete mirror match between two world class grapplers turned power strikers both experiencing a Jeff Novitzky related skid as of late. Johnny making his first appearance at 185 came in looking like a representative for the Oklahoma dad bod owners association.
Whereas Lombard still looks like he was grown in a Cuban lab despite his 2015 suspension, although he did weigh in well under 185 for this fight. But despite appearances Johny looked better than he has in years. High energy, taking-shots, and throwing sneaky knees with no regard for Lombards Olympic Judo. Lombard looked explosive in the first round but started to slow down and become hesitant in rounds two and three. He’s of course coming off that crazy KO loss to Dan, the stone man, have my daughter home by 8-O’clock or else Henderson, so some level of residual hesitation is understandable.
So what’s next for newly minted middleweight Johny Hendricks? GSP is of course back in the mix after reportedly coming to terms with the UFC this week. Seeing them runback their controversial fight, this time at 185 would be fun. But rumor has it GSP is not planning to go up but down, to 155 eyeing a fight with Mcgregor. So looking at actual middleweights, there’s a lot of interesting matchups for Hendricks in this division. Him and Tim Boetsch could have a fat boy slugfest, Weidman would make for a good old american wrestler civil war (if he weren’t already fighting Moose in April), and then there’s Jacare if he wants to take a high-risk shortcut to title contention. But personally I’d love to see him and Anderson Silva mix it up and financially speaking, outside of the GSP fight, that’s the biggest money fight out there for Johny.
Regardless of how his next matchup shakes out it’s good to see Big Rig get back in the win column. It also adds credence to my theory that perhaps it wasn’t so much the random drug testing as it was the IV ban that led to Hendricks much speculated about decline. He was a big welterweight and without IV’s to rapidly re-hydrate it’s hard for a big boy like Hendricks to get that body and brain fluid back to normal come fight time. Whether my brain fluid levels theory had anything to do with it or not, it’s inarguable that Hendricks was absorbing shots from an explosive middleweight last night better than he had been in his last three fights with smaller dudes. His next few fights this year will determine if my theory holds any water, so here’s hoping the good ol’ boy can continue to turn things around.