Robbie Lawler v Johny Hendricks III to happen before MacDonald gets title shot

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The UFC are looking to finish the Robbie Lawler-Johny Hendricks trilogy before they let another fighter contend for the title, Dana White has confirmed.

The long-standing UFC President was speaking at a press conference ahead of UFC 182 and revealed the plans for the UFC Welterweight title scene are going to be quite familiar to fans.

It will also come to a blow for some, who were rooting for George St-Pierre's protege, Rory MacDonald to get the next shot, but he'll have to wait a while longer.

UFC in bizarro trilogy land?

“Robbie and Rory just fought. We just feel like the trilogy makes sense – to do the third fight with these two,” is what White told reporters, throwing out MacDonald's previous promised title shot.

"Robbie and Rory just fought. We just feel like the trilogy makes sense – to do the third fight with these two"

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The decision to finish the trilogy and have Lawler and Hendricks fight once again in an instant rematch is definitely a confusing one - especially when you factor in what happened after their first fight.

At UFC 171 in March, Hendricks beat Lawler in a close, but unanimous, decision victory, to become champ. Lawler then fought twice in within two months, defeating Jake Ellenberger and Matt Brown, in order to put himself back in as number one contender to Lawler - who was injured.

Now after another close decision, this time Lawler won via spilt decision, the UFC has opted for the instant rematch and it might just be that CM Punk's signing has bought some of the WWE mentality with him.

Pushing aside MacDonald may hurt them

It's also bizarre to say Lawler-MacDonald have 'just fought' when they fought over a year ago back at UFC 167 - to a split decision, indicating a close fight. MacDonald has certainly grown over the last year as well, he finished 2014 with three wins from three fights and a saw surge in popularity.

Unanimous decision wins over Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley were complemented with a stoppage of Tarec Saffiedine to bolster his title shot credentials. His unique 'death stare' before his fight with Saffiedine won over fans online as he let his serious side doing the talking in his performances.

So while the UFC may think that rushing out Lawler-Hendricks III is a great idea, it might be causing them to lose out on MacDonald as a number one contender.

At just 25 years of age, there's plenty of time for him to take the title but if he starts now, he has the potential to be the next GSP or Anderson Silva in his dominance of the division and that is certainly worth it's weight in the long term.

How do you feel - should the shot be given to Hendricks once more, or to MacDonald and add some fresh meat to the title hunt? Let us know in the comments box below.

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Johny Hendricks
Dana White
Anderson Silva
Georges St-Pierre

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