To start off UFC 171’s prelims was a featherweight bout between Daniel Pineda and Robert Whiteford. Both of these guys are known for their exciting styles, but in terms of aggressiveness, Daniel Pineda was the only one who seemed willing to take many risks. Whiteford landed many takedowns throughout the fight and utilized his larger frame to keep Pineda down and neutralize Pineda’s submissions.
Pineda looked to have Whiteford in a bit of trouble in the second and third round with kneebars, but Whiteford proved to be game and worked his way out of everything Pineda threw his way. Pineda also was game in taking two big Whiteford headkicks in the second round. Other than the headkicks, it looked like Pineda was the more efficient striker. Pineda landed some solid kicks to the body and was the more aggressive striker, but Whiteford capitalized with the takedowns and the positioning to earn his first UFC win via unanimous decision.
I’m not sure where Pineda goes from here as he hasn’t had the best luck as of late. I’d hate to see him cut after this loss because he didn’t look bad per-say, but Whiteford is still fairly inexperienced and losing to someone of Whiteford’s caliber doesn’t look the best. For Whiteford, I’d like to see him face an opponent that he can’t out-muscle. Whiteford looked huge compared to Pineda, and that definitely aided him in the ground exchanges; it’d be interesting to see how Whiteford stacks up against others in terms of technical ability as opposed to physical ability.