Connect with us


UFC 171 ‘Hendricks vs. Lawler’ Event Preview



Dallas, Texas, this Saturday, will play host to UFC 171 and for the first time since UFC 63 on September 23, 2006 the full UFC welterweight title will be on the line without Georges St-Pierre involved. The vacationing Canadian, having relinquished his long-held 170 lbs title, will be succeeded either by his last victim (on the scorecards at least) Johny Hendricks or veteran Robbie Lawler.

Having won six fights in a row prior to his controversial decision loss to the aforementioned St-Pierre, Johny Hendricks is well established as a pound-for-pound list regular and will enter Saturday night’s main event as a strong favourite. Lawler, on the other hand, has made a magnificent career resurgence since moving to welterweight and earning his spot back in the UFC after the Strikeforce vet’ saw his old home cease to exist.

Hendricks has a solid base as a highly decorated wrestler and is a former collegiate national champion, a skill which is seen as the weak link of his opponent. Lawler is predominantly a striker and although he has shown adequate takedown defence in the past, it will need to be greatly improved from his last outing (where he was taken down by Rory McDonald) to stop the shot of the Oklahoma state alum. Neither man, though, will have any problem with slugging it out on the feet. They both possess dynamite in their strikes and have many victims to prove it. Hendricks is the more unorthodox, swinging punches from all angles which end in unconsciousness if they connect, whereas Lawler has the more carved technique after many years in the game but packs serious heat too. This fight may well be whoever can land the first punch will win, for Lawler especially, but Hendricks has shown in the past that if the knockout doesn’t come immediately he isn’t afraid to take his opponent down and grind out the victory. The opening exchanges could be crucial.

Before the welterweight title decider, the next contender could be figure out when former interim champion Carlos Condit meets Tyron Woodley. After back-to-back losses to GSP and Johny Hendricks, Condit rebounded in stunning fashion when knocking out Martin Kampmann in his last outing and will be looking to work his way back to the top with another win on Saturday night. After going ten fights unbeaten to start his career, Woodley has gone 2-2 in four since, three of which came after his transfer from Strikeforce to the UFC; losing to Jake Shields in between first round knockout victories over Josh Koscheck and Jay Hieron.

The pair are about as different as possible. Woodley is a strong, powerful wrestler with knockout power. Condit is a lanky Muay-Thai specialist who possess a strong jiu-jitsu game off of his back. The problem is, Condit spends a lot more time on his back than he would want and if Woodley chooses to do so, the takedown probably won’t be too hard to attain. And although Condit does get back to his feet regularly after takedowns, he hasn’t met anyone with the physical mass of Woodley yet. On the feet Condit will be standing on the outside trying to pick off Woodley from range and will unleash his trademark flying knee on any takedown attempt. Woodley is increasing technically with every fight and should he connect, has the power to finish anyone in the division. It’s an intriguing clash of styles and one not to be missed.

TUF alums will be up next when Myles Jury puts his thirteen fight unbeaten record on the line against the very first ultimate fighter, Diego Sanchez who is coming off of one of the greatest fights of all time against Gilbert Melendez. This fight will probably be played out on the feet with any ground action likely to be initialized by Jury with Sanchez predominantly a striker these days. Jury is silky on the feet and has power in both hands. Sanchez, though, is tough as nails. The Greg Jackson student will come forward from the opening bell and try the endurance of his opponent. This is a real litmus test of where Jury is in his career. A win will drive him towards the top ten, as it will for Sanchez, but a loss will suggest it may be a little too early to have tested him against a former title challenger. No matter what, Diego Sanchez will do what Diego Sanchez does and make this one easy on the eye.

In the third main card welterweight contest, former champions meet as ex-Bellator middleweight title holder Hector Lombard takes on ex-Strikeforce middleweight supremo Jake Shields. Both men have had similar faiths in their UFC careers to date – losing fights early before bouncing back well. Coming off of respective wins both men are looking to push their way towards, the currently vacant, welterweight title. Shields is a dominating wrestler with an educated jiu-jitsu game while Lombard is built like a fire-hydrant and throws hard with both his Judo and hands. Underestimating Shields has been a common theme in the past but he has shown time after time he is not to be taken lightly. Lombard needs to stay vertical at all costs (unless he’s on top) and the transitions will have a big part to play on the outcome of this one. On the feet, Lombard is rapid with his powerful hands but will need to break the technique of his opponent. This may be the toughest bout on the card to predict and could go either way.

Other that that, there are nine more fights for the hardcore fan to sink its teeth into; the standout of which is the clash of featherweight prospects Jimy Hettes and Dennis Bermudez which should be a thrilling back-and-forth affair.

Check out the full card details and times below:

MAIN CARD  Pay-Per-View 10 p.m. ET

Johny Hendricks  vs.  Robbie Lawler for the vacant welterweight title

Carlos Condit  vs.  Tyron Woodley

Myles Jury  vs.  Diego Sanchez

Hector Lombard  vs.  Jake Shields

Nikita Krylov  vs.  Ovince St. Preux


Kelvin Gastelum  vs.  Rick Story

Jessica Andrade  vs.  Raquel Pennington

Dennis Bermudez  vs.  Jimy Hettes

Alex Garcia  vs.  Sean Spencer


Renee Forte  vs.  Frank Trevino

Will Campuzano  vs.  Justin Scoggins

Robert McDaniel  vs.  Sean Strickland

Daniel Pineda  vs.  Robert Whiteford

Fight Booth's Irish correspondent writing about all things MMA. Catch my event reviews after every UFC and Cage Warriors show. Follow me on twitter - @SeanSheehanBA

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.