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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
When the Martin Kampmann-Johny Hendricks fight was booked for next week's UFC 154 event, it seemed clear it was set as a No. 1 contender fight to the UFC Welterweight Championship. After all, at the time of its booking, the event was already expected to feature Georges St-Pierre's return bout against Interim Champion Carlos Condit, setting up an easy narrative for the winners of the two fights to compete next.
However, with Anderson Silva injecting himself into the Georges St-Pierre conversation, it's no longer a cut and dry situation. The possibility of that super fight happening with a St-Pierre win next weekend means the welterweight division's title could be on hold until late 2013; because of that, UFC President Dana White couldn't say on Wednesday whether or not the Kampmann-Hendricks winner would be the next in line for the shot.
"I have no idea," he said during a media conference call for the event (transcribed by MMAJunkie.com. "I have no idea. We have to see how this thing plays out."
"Like I tell everybody, people are asking me, 'Is the Anderson Silva fight happening next?' Well, [St-Pierre] needs to beat Carlos Condit first. And like I said earlier, people are overlooking Carlos Condit, and that's a bad idea."
Both fighters should probably be cheering for Condit on Saturday night, as White made it clear that a Condit win means he's defending the title in his next bout.
"Carlos Condit ... will defend the title against who's next [if he beats St-Pierre]," White said.
That still doesn't necessarily mean Kampmann or Hendricks will be next in line, but it's their best shot at this stage.
Penick's Analysis: One variable that could knock Hendricks or Kampmann down the ladder is Nick Diaz's return. Because of how close the first fight was against Condit, and how divided the reaction was, a rematch between the two for the title could be very enticing to the UFC. At the same time, a GSP loss in his first fight back from injury after 19 months could also lead to an immediate rematch. There are just a number of things that could still stand in the way of Hendricks or Kampmann getting a title fight. It's a frustrating situation for the two of them, but that's where things stand.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
STAFF COLUMNISTS: Shawn Ennis - Jason Amadi
Frank Hyden - Rich Hansen
Chris Park - Matt Pelkey
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