Whiteley proved scrappy and hard to finish, but Pichel was just a bit better at every turn, earning unanimous 30-27 scores.
An early striking affair gave way to a grappling match when Pichel pressed the action to the ground, where he believed he might have the advantage. As it turned out, however, Whiteley put up a good fight from his back, threatening with windmill kicks and a D’Arce choke attempt after a scramble.
Pichel fought to maintain dominant positions, but consistently found them as he threatened with a rear-naked choke after sending Whiteley’s mouthpiece flying with a punch combination in the second frame.
Whiteley, advised to finish by his corner, went after Pichel in the third. But as in earlier rounds, he allowed himself to be bullied to the cage, which made him an easy target for a takedown. In the closing moments of the bout, Pichel gave him a taste of his own medicine, almost securing a D’Arce choke.
Pichel (8-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), who lost in the quarterfinals of “TUF 15” and spent all of 2013 injured after a loss to Rustam Khabilov, celebrated his first win with a hearty scream.
Whiteley (7-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC), meanwhile, remains winless in the octagon after a first-round TKO loss to Alan Patrick at UFC Fight Night 29.
Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 35 results include:
- Vinc Pichel def. Garett Whiteley via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) Beneil Dariush def. Charlie Brenneman via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 1:45