Last time welterweight Johny Hendricks faced a tough wrestle-boxer like himself he lost a decision. This time he got past the game Mike Pierce with a split decision.
Hendricks came out and showed a more sophisticated striking approach and outscored Pierce striking in the first round. He quickly took the Thai plum and landed a hard knee to the face. He salted those knees with uppercuts and jabs. Pierce's face showed knots from Hendricks' handiwork by the end of the round.
Pierce seemed to have an advantage in mass and power when it came to wrestling, stuffing a number of Hendricks' shots. Hendricks landed more knees in the second round but Pierce landed some big punches, mostly hooks. Hendricks came back late in the round and there were some slick wrestling exchanges.
Pierce slammed Hendricks with about 2:30 left in the fight. Hendricks landed an illegal upkick and Yamasaki stopped the action. He came out after the restart and landed a hard knee from the plum. Pierce answered with some mean uppercuts. Hendricks pulled a slick spin move to shoot for a single. Pierce probably won that last round but he didn't get the finish his corner asked for and let the fight slip away.