UFC 171 – Undercard Highlights Preview

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Rather than go through the whole card in petty detail, I’m just going to talk about the fights that stand out from the supporting card.

Yes, the image above might be a hint as to which fighter we’re most rooting for but forgive us if there is still a real novelty in having a Scot fighting in the UFC.

Firstly, the ever entertaining and FOTN award hogging Diego Sanchez (24-6) looks to rebound from his (lucrative) loss to Gilbert Melendez when he faces the undefeated Myles Jury (13-0) in what should be a fun contest between two talented fighters who are both looking to break into the top ten of the division.

Jury is well rounded and has shown an ability to grind out wins, or land submissions or KOs when the opportunity presents itself, while Sanchez is all about the heedless assault, overwhelming opponents with sheer volume of strikes, his capacity to take damage and limitless cardio.

Whether the old lion takes a step back towards the top or the young pretender adds another scalp to his belt, only time will tell.

Next we have the miniature female version of Wanderlei Silva, Jessica Andrade (10-3) looking to capitalise on her beating of Rosi Sextion (I don’t like that truth, but it’s true) when she faces the similarly entertaining Raquel Pennington (4-3) who earned a decision win over Roxanne Modafferi at the Ultimate Fighter 18 finale to break a 0-2 skid.

While neither girl will be troubling the top of the bantamweight division in the immediate future, this is all but guaranteed to be a hell of a scrap and should be loads of fun to watch.

Fresh off his Fight of the Night win over Steven Siler, Dennis Bermudez (12-3) boasts a 5-0 streak in the UFC since losing to Diego Brandao in the TUF 14 finale and will be looking to continue that against accomplished judoka Jim Hettes (11-1).

Bermudez may be the favourite but I can’t help noticing that all his losses have come via submission, which is very much Hettes’ ‘A’ game. This should be a lot of fun.

Last but by no means least… in fact, seemingly opening the broadcast we have Scotland’s own Robert Whiteford (10-2) making his sophomore UFC appearance, and debut on US soil against the more experienced Daniel Pineda (18-10).

The stakes are high for both men, as Pineda is on a 1-3 slide while Whiteford lost his short-notice UFC debut to Jim Hettes, so both men’s roster positions could be at stake.

It might be patriotism speaking, but I fancy Whiteford to win this one, with a full camp behind him and training with ATT’s Mike Brown who beat Pineda back in 2012, he should put in a much better show than he did in Manchester.

Of course, Pineda is a wily veteran with a history of quick and decisive finishes, so anything could happen…

… but we are very much in Rab’s corner for this one.

The moral of the story is TUNE IN FOR THE PRELIMS, because names don’t make fights, warriors do…

Full Card

MAIN CARD
Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler for vacant welterweight title
Carlos Condit vs. Tyron Woodley
Myles Jury vs. Diego Sanchez
Hector Lombard vs. Jake Shields
Nikita Krylov vs. Ovince St. Preux

PRELIMINARY CARD
Kelvin Gastelum vs. Rick Story
Jessica Andrade vs. Raquel Pennington
Dennis Bermudez vs. Jimy Hettes
Alex Garcia vs. Sean Spencer

FIGHT PASS CARD
Renee Forte vs. Frank Trevino
Will Campuzano vs. Justin Scoggins
Robert McDaniel vs. Sean Strickland
Daniel Pineda vs. Robert Whiteford

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