Who will stand alone at the top of the welterweight division after this weekend?
In the wake of Georges St-Pierre walking away from the sport and the UFC welterweight title, this weekend’s event will go a long way in determining the king of 170lb division.
Seven of the top 15 ranked welterweights will be on the card at UFC 171, give it a feel almost of a tournament, rather than one of the biggest cards to date in 2014.
Numbers 1, 2, 3, 6, 11, 12 and 14 in the division will lock horns this weekend, on a card that features the most left-handers ever on one night in UFC history, with 11 competing.
Two of which will feature in the main event, as Hendricks looks to claim what he beleives is rightfully his and Lawler, who could cap one of the most amazing career turnarounds in the UFC ever if he can wear the gold at the end of the night.
It is no secret that with his elite Collegiate wrestling background, Hendricks will be comfortable no matter where the fight goes this weekend, and with Hendricks attempting on average one takedown per minute of standing every time he has entered the octagon, Lawler will be working on his takedown defence in training camp.
But it is the battle on the feet that has most fans hanging out for the last fight of the night, with both men possessing power beyond their weight class.
After rejoining the UFC from Strikeforce, Lawler announced his return to the promotion in a spectacular way in ending Josh Koscheck in the first round at UFC 157.
He earned the 18th knockout of his career in July last year when he landed a head lick before finishing Bobby Voelker with punches in the second round.
Hendricks has also earned the reputation as a knockout artist in recent trips to the cage, with his wins over TJ Waldburger, Jon Fitch and Martin Kampmann becoming regulars on highlight reels as well as all earning knockout of the night honours.
Tale of the tape
Nickname: Bigg Rigg
Height: 5’9″ (175cm)
Record: 17 fights, 15 wins, (8 knockouts, 1 submission, 6 decisions)
Height: 5’11” (180cm)
Record: 32 fights, 22 wins (18 knockouts, 1 submission, 3 decisions) 9 losses, 1 no contest