The first round saw a long battle along the cage for position, leading to the eventual Whiteford takedown as the referee threatened to separate the two fighters. Pineda avoided danger on the ground, working to his feet only to see Whiteford score with some solid knees to the body.
Pineda worked leg kicks on the feet but it was Whiteford who scored the best shots of the round during the last minute of the first round.
Whiteford was quick to score a takedown in the second frame, ending up in Pineda's guard. After cutting Pineda on the feet later in the round with a pair of thudding head kicks, Whiteford almost found himself submitted by a deep knee bar. He survived and seemed to be up 20-18 after the first two rounds.
In the final round it was again a quick Whiteford takedown, looking to grind out the final five minutes to take the win. The referee wasn't having it though and stood the two back up. Again, Whiteford almost found himself on the wrong end of a knee bar...and again he managed to survive.
Pineda managed to score his own takedown with about 40 seconds left and looked to attack with a kimura but time ran out.
The official scorecards read: 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28 all for Rob Whiteford.