The news about UFC 158 has come fast and furious over the past week with UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz expected to headline the card and former interim champion Carlos Condit matching up against GSP teammate Rory MacDonald.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship confirmed both of those bouts during the TUF 16 Finale broadcast on Saturday night, but surprisingly revealed another match-up of blockbuster welterweights. Widely regarded top contender Johny Hendricks pairs with Jake Ellenberger to round out welterweight-fest 2013.
Hendricks notched himself as the top contender with a win over Martin Kampmann at UFC 154, while St-Pierre marked his comeback with a win over Condit in the main event.
Nearly everyone’s focus shifted to a possible superfight between St-Pierre and UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva. As hopes for that fight started to fade, most believed Hendricks would be next up for GSP at 170 pounds, but much to everyone’s surprise, and to a shocked Hendricks, St-Pierre instead called for and received a vendetta fight with currently suspended welterweight Nick Diaz.
“There’s been a lot of talk about who I should fight next but this was really the only choice for me,” said St-Pierre. “He’s made it personal and I personally can’t wait.”
Hendricks was crushed, angered, dismayed.
He’ll quickly buck up and step back in the Octagon any, despite feeling like he was kicked to the curb, by stepping in with Ellenberger, another of the top welterweights in the world, at UFC 158.
Also added to the UFC 158 fight card on Saturday was a middleweight match-up between Patrick Cote and Alessio Sakara.
Stay tuned to MMAWeekly.com for all the latest UFC 158 news and fight coverage.