Johny Hendricks Earns Title Shot with Win at UFC 158, Carlos Condit in Limbo
The co-main event at UFC 158 this weekend has some interesting title implications attached to it for Johny Hendricks and Carlos Condit.
Before the event was ever made official, Hendricks appeared poised in the catbird seat awaiting his chance to challenge Georges St-Pierre for the UFC welterweight title. The tables were turned on Hendricks however when the UFC announced it would be Nick Diaz getting the shot at St-Pierre and the belt, and he would instead fight in the night's co-main event.
Now Hendricks faces former interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit with the chance to solidify his place as the last man standing at 170 pounds waiting for the chance to challenge St-Pierre for the belt after the dust settles on Saturday night.
The same cannot be said for Condit however because if St-Pierre beats Diaz, the UFC won't offer him the same chance because he just fought the Canadian last November.
"Obviously if (Hendricks) beats Carlos Condit, I just think Carlos Condit is the right fight for him to make him the No. 1 contender," White said on Thursday when asked if Hendricks gets the next title shot with a win.
"Condit just fought (St-Pierre)."
It appears with a win, Hendricks is next in line regardless of who comes out on top Saturday night between St-Pierre and Diaz.
As for Carlos Condit, he may have just become the biggest Nick Diaz fan outside of his friends and family back home in California. If St-Pierre is victorious at UFC 158, a Condit win would likely relegate him back into the pool of contenders at 170 pounds regardless of a win over Johny Hendricks.
If Nick Diaz is able to take out St-Pierre and Condit conquers Hendricks, a rematch between the two welterweights could easily take place next.
Condit defeated Diaz at UFC 143 last year to claim the UFC interim welterweight title in a closely contested stand-up battle. The two fighters were actually going to do an immediate rematch, but Diaz tested positive for marijuana following his post-fight drug test and ended up with a one-year suspension for his infraction so the fight never took place.
If Diaz and Condit win, a rematch could be just the fight the UFC is looking to promote.
The stakes are very high for both Hendricks and Condit at UFC 158, and both will be very interested parties when watching the main event between St-Pierre and Diaz after their fight is finished.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.