The American Airlines Arena in Dallas, TX hosted UFC 171 on Saturday, March 15. Prior to the showdown for the vacant welterweight title between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler, the preliminary card was featured on Fox Sports 2 and UFC Fight Pass. Take a look back at what happened and what the outcomes mean for the 16 fighters.
The TUF 17 winner was able to survive being rocked in the second round of his fight with Story to win a split decision. Gastelum has now one both his fights since becoming the TUF tourny champ. Story dropped to 3-5 in his last eight outings.
Now 3-0 in official UFC fights and having bested a solid veteran in Story, it's time for Gastelum to face a tougher test. I think a match against fellow prospect Ryan LaFlare would be good for both fighters' next step. Story hit his peak in 2011 with a six fight win streak, but has since settle into a gatekeeper role. He's got the skills to continue in that role for some time in the UFC, but it's doubtful he'll reach the top of the division again.
Andrade frustrated Pennington with pressure and takedowns to earn a split decision victory. The win was Andrade's second in three UFC fights. Pennington dropped to 1-1 in the UFC.
The close win over Pennington didn't move Andrade any closer to title contention. She should face Amanda Nunes, also on a two fight streak, in her next bout. Having one only a single contest in her last four fights, Pennington is going to need a win the next time she steps into the Octagon.
Throughout their 15 minute fight, Bermudez proved to be far too much for Hettes to handle and he won a clear unanimous decision. Bermudez extended his win streak to six consecutive fights and has only lost once in his seven appearances in the octagon. Hettes dropped 3-2 in the UFC.
Riding his impressive streak and a great performance in Dallas, it's time for Bermudez to get a shot at the top of the division. Jeremy Stephens, who's found a lot of success since dropping to 145 lbs. would be a good match for Dennis's next fight. Hettes is a talented fighter, but limited. He needs to continue to develop in the middle tier of the division.
After three rounds of action, Garcia got the nod in a split decision win over Sean Spencer. Garcia remained undefeated in two appearances inside the Octagon. Spencer's own two-fight win streak was broken and he dropped to 2-2 as a UFC fighter.
Squeaking by Spencer isn't going to move Garcia through the division. He'll need to continue that success agaisnt the lower tier before he works his way up. Spencer came out on the wrong end of the decision, but proved himself a solid competitor.
Fight Pass prelims:
After giving up the first round to Forte's wrestling and top control, Trevino came back in the final two rounds to earn a split decision. Trevino became the third debutant to pick up a win in his Octagon debut. Forte dropped to 1-4 as a UFC fighter.
A good win for Trevino to kick off his UFC career, but he's going to need to continue that success to move up the ladder. Forte needs to head back to the drawing board. If he's not cut, he'll get one more shot against a low-tier 185er.
As the second prospect making his UFC debut, Scoggins impressed with a dominant unanimous decision win over Campuzano. The loss put Campuzano on a two-fight losing streak and dropped him to 0-4 in the UFC.
Scoggins looks like an exciting prospect for the 125 lb. class. His clear win over a game opponent shows that he's ready for a step up in competition and I'd like to see him against Jussier Formiga. Despite having now lost both his fights since returning to the Octagon, he's a talented fighter in a thin division. He should definitely get another shot before anyone starts talking about handing him a pink slip.
Strickland completely dominated the TUF 17 veteran to win by submission with less than 30 seconds left in the first round. Not a bad showing for his UFC debut. McDaniel has now fought three times since coming out of The Ultimate Fighter house and has only won a single fight in that time.
After seeing the ease with which Strickland dispatched McDaniel, it's clear he needs a step up in competition. No need to toss him to the wolves just yet, but I'd like to see him against an established UFC vet like Nick Catone next. Someone like Daniel Sarafian, who's also 1-2 in the UFC, would make a good next fight for McDaniel.
In the night's opening bout, Robert Whiteford took a unanimous decision win over Daniel Pineda. The victory was Whiteford's first in the UFC as he was coming off a loss in his promotional debut. Pineda has now dropped two in a row for the second time in his UFC career and sports a paltry 2-4 record inside the Octagon.
Despiet getting his hand raised, Whietford remains at the bottom of the heap in a very deep 145 lb. division. He'll need to string together a few more wins before he starts moving up the ladder. If the UFC still cut anyone, that would probably in Pineda's future. Assuming he's not released, he'll be matched with another low-tier featherweight.