UFC 196 adds Hendricks-Thompson, Nelson-Rosholt, Burkman-Noons, Pyle-Spencer
By Mike Bohn,Matt Erickson December 13, 2015 2:00 am
Stephen Thompson wanted a big fight in that UFC welterweight division. That’s exactly what he’ll get at UFC 196.
“Wonderboy” is set to take on former champ Johny Hendricks at the Super Bowl weekend event. UFC officials announced the matchup on Saturday’s UFC 194 broadcast, along with three other bouts for the card.
Hendricks (17-3 MMA, 12-3 UFC) will fight Thompson (11-1 MMA, 6-1 UFC) after Thompson was moved from UFC 195, where he was supposed to fight Neil Magny before Magny replaced Matt Brown vs. Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Night 79 in November.
UFC 196 takes place Feb. 6 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.
Also announced for the card was a heavyweight matchup between Roy Nelson (20-12 MMA, 7-8 UFC) and Jared Rosholt (14-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC); a lightweight bout for the prelims between Josh Burkman (27-12 MMA, 5-7 UFC) and K.J. Noons (13-8 MMA, 2-2 UFC); and a welterweight bout for the prelims between Mike Pyle (26-11-1 MMA, 9-6 UFC) and Sean Spencer (12-4 MMA, 3-4 UFC).
Hendricks will attempt to rebound from one of the most devastating moments of his career, which actually came outside the cage at UFC 192 in October. “Bigg Rigg” was set to take on Tyron Woodley in a No. 1 contender bout; however, he was forced out of the contest due to a failed weight cut .
UFC President Dana White urged Hendricks to move up to the middleweight division after the incident, but he responded by hiring a nutritionist and changing training camps.
Thompson will look to take advantage of Hendricks coming off a low point in what will be the biggest fight of his career. He’ll enter the contest on a five-fight winning streak, the longest among active fighters in the welterweight division.
The 32-year-old will bring plenty of momentum into the fight, having earned a highlight-reel spinning hook kick knockout against Jake Ellenberger at The Ultimate Fighter 21 Finale in July.