After seven months on the shelf, UFC welterweight contender Jon Fitch (23-3-1) will make his Octagon return at UFC 141 against Johny Hendricks (11-1). The bout was previously rumored for UFC 139 and is not yet official, but both fighters have verbally committed to an agreement. ESPN's Brett Okamoto first reported the news.
Held out of action since February due to shoulder rehabilitation, Fitch was finally medically cleared to return to training in early August. Prior to injury the polarizing 33-year-old battled to a three-round majority draw against former UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn, though the Hawaiian afterward admitted he felt he lost the fight. The draw snapped a five-fight win streak for Fitch since losing in his sole title shot against George St. Pierre in mid-2008.
Meanwhile, Hendricks returns for the third time this year, fresh off a split decision victory over Mike Pierce at UFC 133. The victory was the second straight for the 28-year-old, and sixth in seven UFC appearances. He previously won ‘Knockout of the Night' for his first-round TKO destruction of T.J. Waldburger in March.
UFC 141 is slated for December 30th at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event is headlined by a mammoth heavyweight tilt between former UFC champion Brock Lesnar and former DREAM, K-1, and Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem.