Johny Hendricks didn’t gas.
Instead, the Bigg Rigg used a surge of last round energy to outlast Robbie Lawler to capture the vacant UFC welterweight crown at UFC 171.
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
Hendricks started off fast, taking the first two rounds, with Lawler firing back to capture the third and fourth rounds, leaving it up to the fifth and final round.
It was there in the last fifteen seconds — in the heat of the battle – that Hendricks soared and Lawler wilted.
Hendricks won on scorecards of 48-47.
- Courtesy Zuffa LLC.
UFC FIGHT PASS EARLY PRELIMS
- Johny Hendricks speaks with the media during the UFC 171 Ultimate Media Day at American Airlines Center on March 13, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
DANIEL PINEDA VS ROB WHITEFORD
- DALLAS, TX – MARCH 14: (L-R) Opponents Daniel Pineda and Robert Whiteford face off during the UFC 171 official weigh-in at Gilley’s Dallas on March 14, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
WINNER: ROBERT WHITEFORD VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION.
Wiseman: While I gave Pineda the ground advantage, all he did against Whiteford was try to limit his ability to posture up. He set up a few submission attempts that were dangerous, but realistically it was Whiteford’s ability to score takedowns that gave him the fight.
BUBBA MCDANIEL VS SEAN STRICKLAND
- DALLAS, TX – MARCH 14: (L-R) Opponents Bubba McDaniel and Sean Strickland face off during the UFC 171 official weigh-in at Gilley’s Dallas on March 14, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
WINNER: SEAN STRICKLAND VIA SUBMISSION.
Wiseman: As I said, Bubba has yet to impress me and if there was ever a time that Bubba could impress it was tonight against Strickland. Strickland was making his UFC debut and he took the fight on two weeks notice. What happened? As usual Bubba looked like a beginner. Strickland stopped Bubba’s takedown attempt, scored his own takedown, gained top control, transitioned to back and voila, submission. Come on. I don’t understand how Bubba can have the experience he has yet never look the part of a real challenge for anyone.
WILL CAMPUZANO VS JUSTIN SCOGGINS
- DALLAS, TX – MARCH 14: (L-R) Opponents Will Campuzano and Justin Scoggins face off during the UFC 171 official weigh-in at Gilley’s Dallas on March 14, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
WINNER: JUSTIN SCOGGINS VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION.
Wiseman: I wasn’t surprised that Scoggins dominated the entire fight, but I was surprised by the way he showed versatility. He didn’t rely on his power, but showed a terrific blend of karate and wrestling. Campuzano was constantly on the defence and just unable to get anything going from beginning to end. Incredible performance by Scoggins.
RENEE FORTE VS FRANCISCO TREVINO
- DALLAS, TX – MARCH 14: (L-R) Opponents Renee Forte and Francisco Trevino face off during the UFC 171 official weigh-in at Gilley’s Dallas on March 14, 2014 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
WINNER: FRANCISCO TREVINO VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION.
Wiseman: It was all Forte’s for the taking, but the cardio of Forte was his killer. Trevino realized that Forte was slowing down and certainly took advantage of things. Considering they have the same amount of fights, but Forte has fought higher level opponents, it was a big win for Trevino.
SPORTSNET 360 PRELIMS
SEAN SPENCER VS ALEX GARCIA
WINNER: ALEX GARCIA VIA SPLIT-DECISION.
Wiseman: What a slugfest, especially the second round. Cardio was a constant topic of conversation regarding Garcia, but his ability to land consistent takedowns really gave him the fight. In the striking department Spencer was able to hold his own, but he needs to improve his takedown defence.
#12 DENNIS BERMUDEZ VS JIMY HETTES
WINNER: DENNIS BERMUDEZ VIA TKO.
Wiseman: It was a different Bermudez inside the octagon tonight. The pace and aggression that he started the fight with he kept throughout the three rounds until Hettes just quit. Hettes, a talented fighter, looked ordinary tonight. Bermudez was able to keep the fight exactly where he wanted it, without showing cardio problems.
#13 RAQUEL PENNINGTON VS #9 JESSICA ANDRADE
WINNER: JESSICA ANDRADE VIA SPLIT-DECISION.
Wiseman: What a battle! Andrade with her aggression, judo throws, and strikes really kept Pennington on the defense. Pennington showed great striking of her own, but needed to mix things up a little more to keep Andrade guessing. The final round had Pennington shinning and she somehow managed to still have enough energy to throw Andrade around a little. It was a split decision, but fantastic all around. Andrade needs to move her head more to take less damage and Pennington needs to learn to keep distance on her side.
KELVIN GASTELUM VS #14 RICK STORY
Note: Gastelum missed weight, coming in at 172.5 pounds at the weigh-ins.
Wiseman: I knew it would be a battle, but nothing like what we saw. What a performance put on by both fighters. The difference being the striking of Gastelum early in the fight. Story didn’t start turning things up until near the end of the 2nd, the 3rd had moments for both fighters. It was the 1st round and the majority of the 2nd that really gave Gastelum the edge. Extremely entertaining, but Story’s inability to mix things up when he isn’t in control was really exposed tonight. Gastelum’s striking has evolved so much in such a short amount of time. An up and comer for sure.
OVINCE SAINT PREUX VS NIKITA KRYLOV
- WINNER: OVINCE SAINT PREUX VIA SUBMISSION.
Wiseman: I blinked and this fight was over. OSP was able to get the takedown as I expected, but I didn’t see the choke coming at all. I thought OSP was moving for the crucifix, but suddenly the ref stepped in because it was over. Very impressive growth shown by OSP.
#6 JAKE SHIELDS VS #12 HECTOR LOMBARD
WINNER: HECTOR LOMBARD VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION
Wiseman: Aside from the first 5 minutes it was a pretty meh fight. Shields didn’t show up until the last fifteen seconds of the last round and Lombard went to sleep in the second. Lombard basically knew he was winning, so he didn’t over extend himself at all. Shields just never had anything going. His ground game was none existent until the last 15 seconds, all of his takedowns were stuffed, he didn’t throw enough of his kicks, etc. However, neither were impressive.
#15 DIEGO SANCHEZ VS MYLES JURY
WINNER: MYLES JURY VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION.
Wiseman: What a smart game plan by Jury. He kept distance on his side and set up his takedowns well. He avoided getting trapped against the cage and kept his cool throughout. Sanchez has never been the most technical fighter, but no one does entertaining like him. He always puts his heart into every fight. Jury just had the better plan.
#2 CARLOS CONDIT VS #11 TYRON WOODLEY
WINNER: TYRON WOODLEY VIA TKO.
Wiseman: The cardio of Woodley was a question right from the start, but when he did load up it counted. Condit’s cardio is always top notch, but Woodley making every strike count really allowed him to win. Condit is amongst the best, but the powerful striking of Woodley was just more then his joints could take tonight.
#1 JOHNY HENDRICKS VS #3 ROBBIE LAWLER
WINNER: JOHNY HENDRICKS VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION.
Wiseman: The first two rounds were for Hendricks, the third and fourth for Lawler, and with only 1 minute left Lawler just gave up. Hendricks was able to rock him and scored a takedown to finish the final round. Hendricks showed that he has evolved mixing things up much better with leg kicks and fakes. Lawler took too much damage instead of fighting smart. He had all the tools he needed to win, but he allowed himself to lose.