UFC 171 Predictions: Fighters with Best Chance to Win Fight Night Bonuses

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIIMarch 14, 2014

Robbie Lawler celebrates his victory over Rory MacDonald, of Canada, following a UFC 167 mixed martial arts welterweight bout on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Las Vegas. Lawler won by split decision. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken)
Isaac Brekken/Associated Press

In the main event of UFC 171 on Saturday at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, someone is going to get knocked out. Johny "Bigg Rigg" Hendricks and "Ruthless" Robbie Lawler clash for the vacant UFC welterweight title, and both bring a truckload of power into the Octagon.

It's hard to imagine these two stand-up warriors settling matters in any other way.

Hendricks has scored eight of his 15 wins by KO and Lawler has a whopping 18 KO finishes in his 22 victories. Hendricks does possess a solid wrestling background, but he seems to get more pleasure out of dispatching opponents with his heavy hands.

Some believe Hendricks should already be the champion. He appeared to out scrap Georges St-Pierre in Nov. 2013, but Bigg Rigg still lost a controversial split decision.

Despite that disappointment, Hendricks is getting a lot of love from oddsmakers. Jon Anik of Fox Sports 1 drops the information on Las Vegas' odds on Saturday's main event.

The UFC seems to be treating Hendricks like a champion as well. Check out the dignitaries that showed up at his gym days before the fight:

Could this lead to overconfidence? Probably not, Hendricks has been a long-suffering contender. That said, it will lead to an urge to impress the fans and the UFC brass.

Look for him to fight Lawler's fight and for the bout to end with an explosive shot from The Ruthless One.

Lawler is too athletic and explosive. Hendricks would be best suited trying to take Lawler down, but he won't.

It's been a long time coming, but Lawler is going to be the next UFC welterweight champion.

He won't just leave the arena as the new champion, his performance will be good enough to earn one of the fight night bonuses for Performance of the Night.

Here's a look at the fighters and bouts that are the best candidates for the other Fight Night Bonuses.

Justin Scoggins is Coming

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 07:  Justin Scoggins celebrates his victory against Richie Vaculik in their flyweight fight at Brisbane Entertainment Centre on December 7, 2013 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
Chris Hyde/Getty Images

A flyweight whose nickname is Tank is an oxymoron, but one look at the power Scoggins possesses proves why he has the moniker of a heavy-duty attack vehicle.

He's 8-0 with six KO wins including his impressive TKO victory over Richie Vaculik in Scoggins' UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 33 in Dec. 2013.

Will Campuzano is a good fighter, but he isn't prepared to withstand the power of The Tank. Per an interview with Sherdog.com, Scoggins says, "I'm going to demolish him [Campuzano]. I believe him."

Scoggins will score a big KO victory and grab one of the POTN bonuses.

Diego "The Dream" Sanchez Equals Fight of the Night

Oct 19, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Gilbert Melendez (red gloves) fights against Diego Sanchez (blue gloves) in their lightweight bout during UFC 166 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports
Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

In his MMA career, Sanchez has won FOTN six times. That includes four times in his last five fights. Coming off the epic battle with Gilbert Melendez, Sanchez's name and reputation are shining brightly in the eyes of hardcore fans.

Myles Jury will do his best to keep this fight from turning into a knockdown, drag-out brawl, but there is something about the way Sanchez fights that brings that out of his opponents.

Melendez is known for his technical skill, but against Sanchez, he was forced to raise his aggression level to meet the challenge. 

Jury will have to do the same thing to keep the Dream from becoming his nightmare.

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