If any mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter competing at tonight's (March 15, 2014) UFC 171 event inside American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, thinks they can run out the clock and punch their ticket to a welterweight title shot, they had better think again.
UFC President Dana White is not making anyone any promises.
That's because the 170-pound field is wide open. In addition to the main event, four other top-ranked welterweights will do battle later tonight in "The Lone Star State," and White tells MMA Fighting that of the winners between Carlos Condit vs. Tyron Woodley and Jake Shields vs. Hector Lombard, it could come down to who has the more impressive performance.
"We'll see what happens. It's a great card with great fights, but there's a lot of great fights at 170 [pounds] on this card. I think pretty much anybody who's fighting on this card to come off looking great and exciting, anybody can get a shot. There's no guarantees anywhere, ever, in life. They're going to have to come out and perform. [The welterweight division] is wide open."
It also depends on what happens in the headlining affair between Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler.
If by some weird turn of events we end up with a draw -- which Mark Hunt and "Bigfoot" Silva taught us is possible no matter how hard you hit -- there could be an immediate rematch. Or, if "Rigg" and "Ruthless" go to the scorecards and someone gets screwed, there may be cries for an immediate rematch.
There are just too many variables at play.
That's what makes UFC 171 so exciting, from a fan's perspective, so sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. And considering how many power punchers we have in "Big D," don't blink.
Get UFC 171 live results right here.