Round 1: The fighters touch gloves and UFC 171 is officially underway. Whiteford lands first with an outside leg kick. Pineda answers with a kick to the body. Whiteford moves forward with a right hand. He lands a kick to Pineda’s calf. They clinch and battle for position along the cage. Whiteford works to get the fight to the ground. Pineda defends the attempt. They exchange knees to the body. Whiteford drags Pineda to the ground. Pineda immediately gets to his feet only to be slammed back to the canvas. Pineda uses the cage to stand but gets hit with a knee to the body in the process. The referee separates them. Pineda throws a kick to the body that’s blocked. Whiteford goes to the body with a right hand. Whitehead lands a combination. Pineda presses forward. Whiteford circles away. Pineda jumps in with a flying knee that misses. The round ends. MMAWeekly scores it 10-9 for Whiteford.
Round 2: Whiteford immediately secures a double leg takedown. Pineda holds onto Whiteford’s neck to control his posture. Whiteford works in Pineda’s full guard. He stands over Pineda and lands a kick. Pineda quickly gets to his feet. He presses Whiteford against the cage. Pineda changes levels and slams Whiteford to the canvas. Whiteford scrambles back to his feet. They exchange leg kicks. Whiteford lands a head kick that wobbles Pineda. Pineda is cut. Whiteford lands a right hand. Pineda lands to the body with a kick. Whiteford lands another high kick. He changes levels and works to get the fight to the ground. Pineda rolls for a leg. Whiteford gains top position. Pineda gets to his feet. He presses forward. Whiteford circles away. Pineda lands a spinning back kick to the body at the bell. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Whiteford.
Round 3: Pineda delivers a knee to the body and Whiteford takes him down. Whiteford works in Pineda’s full guard. Pineda lands elbows from the bottom. Whiteford not doing much from the top position. The referee stands them up. Whiteford lands to the body. Pineda moves in and Whiteford takes him down. Pineda rolls for a leg. Whiteford gets his leg free and gains top position. Pineda tries to set up a triangle choke. Whiteford postures up and gets free. He moves to side control. Pineda works back to full guard. The referee stands them up. Pineda misses with an uppercut. Whiteford drops down for a takedown, but Pineda stuffs it and gains top position. He works from the half guard position. He isolates an arm and works for a kimura. He gives up on it and delivers elbows. The round ends. MMAWeekly scores the round 10-9 for Pineda.
The judges scored it for Whiteford by unanimous decision. The scorecards read 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28.
“I couldn’t have been more well prepared. I was in the best shape of my life, thanks to my work with American Top Team. The key was my movement, being smart and not brawling with him. I wanted to brawl, but I stuck to the game plan. I can’t wait to get back to American Top Team and start training with them again. Being the first Scot to fight in the UFC and getting the win in my debut means everything to me and a lot of people back home. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it.”
“He’s strong and he’s very good at what he does. I couldn’t finish my submission attempts because he was in perfect position to avoid them. I guess that’s just the way it goes sometimes.”