In the aftermath of last night’s UFC 171 event, we take a look at who the evening’s biggest winners and losers were in Dallas, Texas.
1. Myles Jury
At the youthful age of 25, the former member of TUF team Cruz came into UFC 171 with an unblemished record of 13-0. Jury managed to capture his first win over a household name Saturday night and did so in an impressive manner.
The victory may not have come as easily as Jury claimed in his post fight interview, having sustained obvious damage from a few of Sanchez’s wild furies, but he clearly dictated the action of the fight. Jury demonstrated his mature ability to stick to a game plan, avoiding the insanity of the brawl fest Sanchez so desperately sought. Myles’ calm controlled demeanor and crisp striking should show dividends down the road.
2. Tyron Woodley
Persistence was Woodley’s ticket into a potential title illuminator fight with highly ranked Carlos Condit. Many were discounting Tyron as a real threat coming up against such a high level fighter with a dangerously diverse skill set.
Although it was unfortunate to see the fight end with a knee injury that will surely sideline Condit for some time, Tyron was controlling the fight up until that point. Woodley displayed an array of solid power striking skills with the luxury of leveraging his superior takedowns whenever the standing game swayed in the favor of Carlos. Without many other title challengers up to bat outside of Rory MacDonald and Hector Lombard, Woodley may soon get his shot at UFC gold.
3. Johny Hendricks
Contributing to a truly thrilling fight of the night battle with Robbie Lawler, it was an emotional moment Saturday night as Hendricks dropped to his knees finally able to experience the fruition of all his hard work.
The corner of Hendricks stressed the urgency of the situation going into round five after Lawler had rallied in rounds 3 and 4. The stock of Hendricks rose to new heights as he was able to persevere through the poor eyesight of a blood filled socket, digging deep to bring Lawler to his breaking point in the final minutes of the fight solidifying the win. Johny is a warrior with heart, already calling for a rematch with St. Pierre.
1. Jake Shields
Unable to get anything going on Saturday night, Shields looked nothing short of outclassed by Hector Lombard. His strategy appeared to be very one dimensional employing a repetitively weak jab and slow head kick, just praying he would get a chance to take the former judo Olympian to the canvas. His opportunity never arrived with every takedown attempt effortlessly stuffed by Lombard.
Regrettably for Shields he failed to choke out Lombard when he swung for the fences in the final seconds of the fight clasping on with a guillotine. At the ripe age of 35, it may be difficult for Shields to reinvent himself at this stage in the game.
2. Diego Sanchez
Now dropping the last 3 of his four fights, Sanchez may want to revaluate his reckless approach. Diego Sanchez crazily charged forward like a bull in a china shop for the full fifteen minutes of the fight as he was systematically picked apart on the feet.
Luckily for Sanchez his exciting brawl based fighting style is looked upon favorably by the UFC and shouldn’t be in danger from being cut from the promotion. Sanchez will have a chance to emerge a victor as he will likely see a step down in competition in his next outing.
3. Carlos Condit
Just one fight away from a title shot, Carlos suffered a devastating knee injury calling a stop to the fight he was certainly on the losing side of. Before the injury took place Condit was troubled with the takedowns of an elite wrestler in the same fashion to when he faced Johny Hendricks.
Carlos is a tremendously smart and dynamic fighter, but has difficulty gaining control over the pace of the fight when he’s repeatedly taken down at will. It may be a frustrating road to recovery before Carlos can improve his arsenal and put together another run at a title shot.