UFC 171 will be headlined by the vacant Welterweight title. Johnny Hendricks who narrowly lost to George St. Pierre at UFC 167 will look to top Robbie Lawler who is coming off of several impressive victories.
Although I believe GSPdid in fact beat Hendricks on November 16th2013, many believe Hendricksdid win that fight and should already be the Welterweight Champion. So with that said most view Robbie Lawler as the challenger.
Robbie Lawler is coming off of dominating performances defeating Josh Koshcheck in the 1st round, Bobby Voelker in the 2nd and winning by decision vs Rory McDonald.
Other than having beaten Rory by decision, Lawlerhas very little experience in long fights and no experience going into the Championship Rounds. I believe Robbie Lawler’s best shot at this fight is by using his power early on and trying to knock out Hendricks in early in the fight.
The only issue with this fight plan is that Hendricks has arguably the most power in the division. Look for Lawler to go for the finish early and open himself up to get knocked out by Hendricks. The other side of the coin is if Lawler is too cautious, look for Hendricks to be patient and to push the pace and finish the fight in the Championship Rounds.
Ultimately my prediction is: Hendricks defeats Robbie Lawler in Round 2 by KO.
In the Co-main events we have two Welterweight fights. First is Carlos Condit vs Tyron Woodley and the second is Jake Shields vs Hector Lombard.
In the first fight Tyron Woodley will make a large jump in the rankings by fighting against Carlos Condit. Woodley is coming off of an impressive victory over Josh Koshchek, however he lost his previous bout against Jake Shields. Carlos Condit has obviously fought the best of the best in the division and gave GSPa difficult time in their fight. I believe we will see Condit dominate this fight and have his second TKO in two fights.
Prediction: Condit defeats Woodley by TKO in Round 3.
The Jake Shields vs Hector Lombard fight will include two fighters looking to get back near title contention. Since his loss to St. Pierre, Jake Shields has struggled to find himself anywhere near a title shot despite victories over Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia in his last two fights. Should he earn his third straight victory vs Lombard, look for him to get a fight with someone in the top 5, quite possibly the winner of Condit vs Woodley or Rory McDonald who is coming off a victory over Demian Maia.
Prediction: Jake Shields defeats Hector Lombard via Decision
Other notable fights include Diego Sanchez vs Myles Jury, in what has potential to be given the Fight of the Night award. Jury has put together some impressive victories by defeating Michael Johnson, Ramsey Nijem and upsetting Mike Ricci. Diego will be a huge challenge for Myles Jury, as he has not been stopped since 2009, when the fight was stopped because of a cut against B.J. Penn.
If there is any fight you don’t want to miss during this card it’s this one!
Prediction: Myles Jury defeats Diego Sanchez vid Decision **Fight of the Night**
Also on the card is Ultimate Fighter 17 veterans Robert “Bubba” McDaniels who will be fighting Tor Troeng (also on The Ultimate Fighter 17) as well as winner of season 17 Kelvin Gastelum. Gastelumwill be fighting Rick Story and will look to continue his undefeated streak inside the octagon. I believe Gastelum looked very impressive in his first appearance after winning the Ultimate Fighter 17. I believe he will show off more of his well-rounded game.
Prediction: Kelvin Gastelum defeats Rick Story by submission in the 2nd round. **Submission of the Night**
For the McDaniels vs Troeng fight I will have to go with Troengbecause of Bubba’s inability to finish fights and for not having the stamina late in the fight to close them out.
Also under the radar is UFC Fight Night 37 headlined by Alexander Gustafsson and Jimi Manuwa. Although Jimi Manuwa is not one to be over looked, I believe Gustafssonexcelled to another level against Jon Jones and as long as he prepares himself as he did against “Bones” this should be a dominate performance for him.
Prediction: Gustafsson defeats Manuwa via TKO in round 4
Ogi is a graduate of Humber College’s Sport Management program. He is the founder of Blago Blogger Sports.