Tonight, at UFC 171, the UFC will begin a new era at Welterweight as Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler battle for the vacant Welterweight title. This will be the first time in nearly eight years that the undisputed Welterweight title will be on the line without Georges St-Pierre fighting for the belt.
Before Hendricks and Lawler throw down to crown a new champion, the UFC has put together an exciting preliminary card that will set the tone for the show. Below you can catch the coverage of the first two Fight Pass prelims.
Daniel Pineda vs Robert Whiteford
Pineda looked to get an early takedown, but Whiteford stuffed it. Whiteford got a takedown of his own on the cage, but Pineda got right back to his feet. The ref then broke them up off the fence and the restarted in the middle. The stand up was pretty equal for the rest of the round, but nothing of worth was landing. Whiteford got a double leg takedown immediately at the start of the second. After some ground and pound, Whiteford let Pineda get to his feet. Pineda was able to get a slam takedown momentarily off the fence. Pineda ate two flush head kicks from Whiteford that busted his face up. Pineda rolled for a kneebar, but ended up on bottom. Pineda got back to his feet, but ate a knee. Pineda landed a spinning back as the round ended. Whiteford caught a knee and took Pineda down again immediately to start round 3. Whiteford was content to lay on top of Pineda, and the ref stood them up. Pineda rolled for another kneebar and was very close to finishing it, but Whiteford got out and landed on top of Pineda again. Pineda attempted a triangle, but could not finish it. The ref stood them up, Pineda stuffed a takedown and got on top of Whiteford. That is how the fight ended.
Official Decision: Robert Whiteford defeats Daniel Pineda by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Bubba McDaniel vs Sean Strickland
They exchanged a bit on the feet, before Bubba got Strickland down momentarily. Strickland got to his feet and then took down Bubba into half guard. Strickland was able to land some heavy ground and pound. Strickland was relentless with his ground and pound, got into side control, and then Bubba’s back. Moments later Strickland latched on a deep rear naked choke and Bubba was forced to tap.
Official Decision: Sean Strickland defeats Bubba McDaniel by Submission (Rear-naked choke) Round 1 (4:33)