Johny Hendricks vs Robbie Lawler
The UFC is crowning a new welterweight champion for the first time in seven years, and the winner of Hendricks vs Lawler will go home with the belt.
For Lawler, it's been a long, tough journey to the top.
"It's awesome to be here now [fighting for the UFC title 13] years after I started," Lawler said. "There wasn't much money in this sport when I started, but I didn't get into it because of money. I loved to fight and I loved MMA. There weren't a lot of material rewards then, and to be here now, where there is a lot of money and a lot of spotlight and stuff going on, it's an exciting time for me.
"It was maybe five, six years in before I started accumulating some money where I could do some stuff and buy things. Before that, I was struggling pretty bad. I didn't get to eat as much as everyone else did and I didn't have a lot of luxuries, but I didn't need them. I didn't want them. All I wanted to do was train, sleep and hang out with my friends."
As for Hendricks, he considers Lawler to be a more dangerous opponent than the last man he stepped into the cage with, former UFC champ Georges St-Pierre.
"Georges, you knew that he was going to throw a jab, a high kick, a low kick, and try to take you down. That's his gameplan," Hendricks said. "Robbie, if you make a mistake, we've seen it time and time again, he can knock you out. So you really have to make sure that you stay focused, cross all your t's and dot all your i‘s, and make sure that you stay solid. That's a lot more dangerous fight.
"But those are also the more fun fights for me. You don't know what's going to happen. All you know is that you're going to step into an Octagon and you hopefully get your hand raised."
Tyron Woodley vs Carlos Condit
Also on the UFC 171 card, Tyron Woodley takes on Carlos Condit in what will undoubtedly be a battle to determine who is next in line for a title shot.
"I think Carlos Condit has a certain kid of style, he's always in Fight of the Night," Woodley said. "He's always in these wars, and I think that his ability to fight in that manner has made me prepare even more, and train even harder to push my limits. When he gets in there and turns up his pace, I'm looking to match him and get the victory."
Diego Sanchez vs Myles Jury
UFC 171 also features an exciting main card tilt pitting Diego Sanchez against Myles Jury.
Sanchez loves to put on exciting fights like the one he was recently in with Gilbert Melendez, but Jury is hoping to avoid a wild standup slugfest.
"I look at somebody like a Diego Sanchez, he's more of like a street fighter, he's a fighter's fighter," Jury said. "I look at myself more of a prize fighter and I'm all down for exchanges, but I do a lot of training and I've been in this sport a while and I've learned a lot of tools. If I wanted to just go out there and stand in front of somebody until one of us falls, I wouldn't have put all this work in and perfected my technique. Otherwise I'd just go stand in front of a heavy bag everyday and train."
Here's a look at the full UFC 171: Hendricks vs Lawler fight card:
Main card (PPV at 10 p.m.)
- Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler
- Carlos Condit vs. Tyron Woodley
- Diego Sanchez vs. Myles Jury
- Jake Shields vs. Hector Lombard
- Ovince St. Preux vs. Nikita Kyrlov
Undercard (FOX Sports 2 at 8 p.m.)
- Kevin Gastelum vs. Rick Story
- Raquel Pennington vs. Jessica Andrade
- Dennis Bermudez vs. Jimy Hettes
- Sean Spencer vs. Alex Garcia
Undercard (UFC Fight Pass at 6 p.m.)
- Renee Forte vs. Frank Trevino
- Will Campuzano vs. Justin Scoggins
- Robert McDaniel vs. Sean Strickland
- Daniel Pineda vs. Robert Whiteford