Johny Hendricks wanted a fight, and now he has a natural born killer on his hands.
While there is a lingering disappointment about the postponement of his grudge match with MacDonald, Condit is prepared to seize a monumental opportunity in ousting the man many believe to be the true No. 1 contender in the welterweight division.
"While I was disappointed to hear that Rory MacDonald is injured, I am glad that the UFC was able to find a strong replacement for the fight in Johny Hendricks," Condit said on Monday in a press release.
"He is one of the toughest Welterweights in the world, and has quickly risen up the ladder in our division. We are similar in that we like to stay active and aggressive in our fights, so this should be a great fight for the fans to watch."
Hendricks is currently riding a five-fight win streak, with his last three wins coming over top-10 opposition.
Despite a prodigious UFC run, Hendricks has been overlooked at every turn in regards to the welterweight title picture. He was originally believed to be next in line for a shot at Georges St-Pierre, but instead, the reigning UFC champ opted to take a fight with Nick Diaz, who is coming off a loss to Condit and a lengthy suspension.
A win over Condit should guarantee Hendricks a title shot. Condit has already defeated Diaz, and he proved to be a significant challenge for St-Pierre in their UFC 154 title bout. Hendricks can finally get over the hump with a sixth straight win on March 16.
This fight is equally as important for Condit, who is coming off a decision loss to St-Pierre.
If Condit defeats Hendricks, MacDonald's misfortune could prove to be a blessing in disguise. A win could propel him back to the forefront of the UFC title picture.
In the press release, Malki Kawa, Condit's manager, spoke on the possibility of Condit reemerging as a No. 1 contender in the welterweight division.
"Fighting Johny Hendricks is the perfect opportunity for Carlos to earn another shot at the UFC Welterweight title. Hendricks is the perfect replacement for Rory, keeping a number one contender bout intact. It's going to be an exciting fight."
Hendricks and Condit certainly aren't strangers to one another.
After defeating Diaz for the interim title, Condit went on an extended hiatus for several months in hopes of facing St-Pierre for the undisputed title when he returned from his knee injury.
In a June 2012 interview with Five Ounces of Pain, Hendricks challenged Condit for a shot at the interim title, but the bout never came to fruition as Condit opted to sit on the sidelines until St-Pierre's return.
As if directed by fate, Hendricks will now face Condit for a shot at UFC gold. The time for talking has ended, and Condit assured the press he'd be ready.
"I have been training for Rory MacDonald, but there is plenty of time left to switch my focus to Hendricks. With eight weeks left, I will need every moment to be fully prepared for this battle. He's called me out in the past, and now is his chance to try to back that talk up. I'll be ready for him."
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