Hendricks replaces hurt MacDonald in Condit tilt
UFC president Dana White confirmed the news to ESPN.com via text on Monday, following an initial report by USA Today. UFC 158 takes place March 16 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
News of MacDonald’s injury broke earlier on Monday. The Canadian welterweight had lobbied for and received a rematch against Condit (28-6) after defeating BJ Penn in December. Condit handed MacDonald (14-1) his only professional loss in June 2010.
Hendricks (14-1) was also scheduled to fight on the March 16 card against fellow contender Jake Ellenberger. A former All-American collegiate wrestler at Oklahoma State University, Hendricks has won five consecutive bouts in the UFC, three by way of knockout. Ellenberger (28-6) is expected to remain on the card, although an opponent has not been named.
The winner of the newly announced fight will be in terrific position within the UFC welterweight division. ESPN.com currently ranks Hendricks and Condit the Nos. 2 and 3 welterweights in the world, respectively.
Condit competed for the UFC title against champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 154 in November. He had St-Pierre in trouble after landing a head kick in the third round, but the champ went on to a unanimous decision victory.
St-Pierre (23-2) is scheduled to make his eighth consecutive title defense against Nick Diaz (16-8) in the UFC 158 main event.