UFC Halifax: Johny Hendricks vs. Hector Lombard in the Works for Main Event

After losing its initial main event of dos Santos vs. Struve, the UFC has moved on to a middleweight main event between Johny Hendricks and Hector Lombard.

Combate was the first to report the removal of Junior dos Santos and that the UFC is looking to make a Johny Hendricks vs. Hector Lombard middleweight headliner for their Halifax Fight Night.

The fight was originally supposed to happen at UFC 208 in Brooklyn, but clearance issues with NYSAC prevented the fight from going through, so it was moved it to the desperate Halifax card instead. The fight will mark Hendricks’ middleweight debut after plenty of failed weight cuts at welterweight.

A little over a week since Stefan Struve was confirmed out of his main event fight with Junior dos Santos with a knee injury, the UFC has pulled dos Santos from the card entirely to be rescheduled at a later date. A fight with Fabricio Werdum was the initial plan, but the fight unfortunately never came together after Werdum allegedly declined.

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It fortunately looks as though Johny Hendricks isn’t done with his career quite yet. After missing weight yet again and dropping his third straight fight at UFC 207, Hendricks floated around retirement. This stemming from a canceled fight because of Hendricks passing a kidney stone that day before the fight and two missed weights after that. Hendricks finally recognized welterweight was too much for him to cut. Along with that many doubted his ability to be able to fight at middleweight with bigger opponents. Johny Hendricks looked to be completely finished.

But now with this new matchup against Lombard, Hendricks has the chance to redeem himself and revitalize what was once a championship-winning career. However, a loss, and a devastating loss at that, could be the end of Johny Hendricks in MMA. His back is against the wall right now and it’s up to him to get back on track. Weight cuts are no longer an excuse and it’s time now to see if the Johny Hendricks of old is still in there somewhere.

Hector Lombard used to be one of the scariest fighters on the UFC roster. He was that guy if the UFC called and said you were fighting, you’d probably hang up and wonder if you really should’ve pursued that other job. Now that mystique has faded for Lombard. Lombard hasn’t won a fight since March of 2014, going 0-2 with a no contest after testing positive for anabolic steroids against Josh Burkman.

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Lombard returned from a year-long suspension against Neil Magny and was finished for the first time in his career. He then moved to middleweight and fought Dan Henderson where he was not only finished, but brutally KOd with elbows.

Point is that Lombard needs to make a statement now, and a win over the former welterweight champion is a great way to send that message, while a loss could send the 38 year old into considering calling it a career.

UFC Halifax will take place on February 19 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. This event will be the second that the UFC has hosted in Nova Scotia, and first since Rory MacDonald vs. Tarec Saffiedine in October of 2014. Other match-ups on the card as of right now include Elias Theodorou vs. Cezar Ferreira, Thiago Santos vs. Jack Marshman, and the first strawweight champion Carla Esparza against Randa Markos.

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