How Will Hendricks' Layoff Impact Title Fight This Weekend?

Published on December 4th, 2014 4:55 pm EST

UFC 181 will be taking place in Las Vegas this coming weekend. The main event of the card will see Welterweight champion Johny Hendricks attempt to defend his title against Robbie Lawler.

These two warriors have already squared off once before, with Hendricks securing a thrilling unanimous decision victory over Lawler at UFC 171. The fight was an absolute slugfest and there is no reason to think that their rematch will be any different.

After their first fight, Hendricks had to go on the shelf in order to recover from surgery. Robbie Lawler, on the other hand, remained active, taking (and winning) two fights while Hendricks was on the sidelines. In the time that Hendricks took to return from injury, Lawler earned himself another shot at the title.

Hendricks is not the type of person to keep himself in prime physical condition when he is not fighting. In fact, photos surfaced of the Welterweight champion looking positively pudgy as he recovered from his surgery. Hendricks usually lets himself go a bit while he is between fights but this time the weight gain was even more noticeable.

Robbie Lawler, on the other hand, was training and fighting and remaining in prime physical condition.

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These points all raise the question as to whether or not Hendricks will be 100% ready for the fight this Saturday night. Remember - the Lawler/Hendricks fight was originally supposed to be taking place in early 2015 but was pushed up after Chris Weidman suffered an injury and his title fight against Vitor Belfort was postponed.

How much of an impact will Hendricks' time away from the Octagon have on the fight on Saturday night? Will he have a rough weight cut? Will he be ready to go a full five rounds without gassing?

It should be noted that Lawler is a fairly sizeable underdog on Saturday night, despite the fact that the first fight was so close. Many knowledgeable gamblers believe that Lawler has a very good chance of winning, especially given Hendricks' inactivity as of late.

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Who are you taking in this fight - Lawler or Hendricks?


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