Photo by Tracy Lee for Yahoo! Sports
The fighters traded combinations to close the distance to work their wrestling. They traded leg kicks but it was Hendricks who looked to be the more competent on his feet. Hendricks was the first to score a successful takedown though he was unable to keep the fight on the ground. Pierce was able to keep control of the center of the cage, constantly stalking Hendricks. Hendricks landed a big knee and then some nice elbows in the clinch. Hendricks' striking looked vastly improved landing well timed upper cuts constantly.
Pierce knowing he was down coming into the second round landed some heavy shots to Johny's body. A failed shot by Hendricks allowed Pierce the position to work punches to the body from the clinch. Hendricks' attempted a switch but Pierce backed away before he could complete it. Big uppercuts by Pierce frustrated and hurt Hendricks. Johny answered with knees to the head and body. Hendricks had been unsuccessful with his takedowns in the second round. The round ended with Pierce circling away, but the damage to his leg was already done.
Pierce tried to change up his offensive strategy but ate a knee. As Hendricks was backing away, Pierce worked for a takedown but was unsuccessful in the attempt. Hendricks' muay thai looked great from the clinch in this round. Pierce was finally able to get a big slam midway through the round and worked from Hendricks' guard. Johny pushed off and there was a bit of controversy with a foot that may have went off Pierce's face. When the action continued Hendricks landed a big knee from the clinch followed by elbows. Pierce was using dirty boxing. The round ended with Hendricks working for a takedown but unable to finish it.
The fight saw two solid wrestlers negate each other's wrestling with some solid takedown defense. Hendricks looked vastly improved on his stand up and Pierce's takedown defense looked incredible. The judges scored the fight 29-28 Pierce, and 29-28x2 for Johny Hendricks. The win extends Johny Hendricks overall MMA record to 11-1 and 6-1 in the UFC. Mike Pierce drops to 12-3 overall and 4-2 in the UFC.