The weigh-ins from UFC 171 just went down, and, in a surprising turn, welterweight contender Johny Hendricks missed weight. Hendricks is slated to fight Robbie Lawler in the card's main event, with the vacant welterweight title on the line.
"Big Rigg" weighed in at 171.5 pounds, 1.5 pounds over the weight limit. While in non-championship bouts, a pound is given over the limit to offer fighters a small bit of wiggle room, championship bouts have a strict cutoff, and Hendricks will need to weigh in at 170.0 to save his purse and preserve his opportunity to become the UFC welterweight champion.
Hendricks is currently on the clock and will have a bit of time to shed that last pound-and-a-half. The UFC already put forth a contingency plan should Hendricks not make weight.
According to ESPN's Brett Okamoto, should Hendricks miss weight, even if he wins, he will not walk away with the belt. However, Lawler still has the chance to take the belt with a win in spite of that:
If Hendricks does not make weight, will be a five round (half) title fight. Lawler can win belt but Johny would not.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) March 14, 2014
That is standard procedure in boxing, but the situation has never arisen in high-level mixed martial arts.
Also, according to Fox Sports (via Josh Gross), the bout will remain five-round fight-based on the fact that it is a main event:
OK, Fox Sports is changing their report. Just clarified that it'll be a five rounder no matter what.— Josh Gross (@yay_yee) March 14, 2014
Only two fighters in the UFC have missed weight for a title bout: Joe Riggs, who took a short notice bout against Matt Hughes at UFC 56, and Travis Lutter, who fought Anderson Silva at UFC 67. More recently, Nate Diaz missed weight for his lightweight title fight opposite Benson Henderson, but he was able to get down to 155.0 pounds before time ran out.
Check back here for more info as it becomes available.
False alarm, folks! Hendricks made the 170-pound limit with four minutes to spare.