Whittaker Defeats Brunson In One-Round Brawl
Middleweights Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson, who were ranked No. 7 and No. 8 respectively, both entered their UFC Fight Night main event on five-fight winning streaks. Only one could continue with their streak, and in front of his home country, Robert Whittaker away with a TKO victory in the first round.
"Me and my coaches had a solid gameplan, which was to hope he would sprint towards me and fall down a lot," Whittaker said in his post-fight interview.
And that gameplan seemed to work. Both fighters came out of the gate with hard shots, though Brunson seemed to be harder and more relentless on the attack. Brunson did go down at some points during the round, seemingly to get a takedown, which Brunson countered with solid takedown defense. As both fighters were standings, a gassed Brunson looked to go in for the kill, but met with a direct head kick from Whittaker. Brunson attempted to cover up and was sent to the ground by heavy hands from Brunson. Referee Herb Dean called the bout to a stop with about a minute to go in the round.
This gives Whittaker a six-fight win streak, and makes him 5-0 since moving to middleweight. It also gives him hope he will move into the top 5 of the UFC’s middleweight rankings.
"I’m ready for those Top 5 contenders," Whittaker said. "I’m ready for my shot."
UFC Fight Night: Melbourne Main Card (10 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1)
Robert Whittaker def. Derek Brunson via TKO (R1, 4:07)
Andrew Holbrook def. Jake Matthews via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Omari Akhmedov def. Kyle Noke via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Alexander Volkanovski def. Yusuke Masuya via TKO (R2, 2:06)
Tyson Pedro def. Khalil Rountree via submission (rear-naked choke) (R1, 4:07)
Danielle Taylor def. Seo Hee Ham via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)
UFC Fight Night: Melbourne Prelims Card (8 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1)
Daniel Kelly def. Chris Camozzi via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 30-27)
Damien Brown def. Jon Tuck via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Jonathan Meunier def. Richard Walsh via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Ben Nguyen def. Geane Herrera via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
UFC Fight Night: Melbourne Early Prelims Card (6:30 p.m. ET, UFC Fight Pass)
Jason Knight def. Dan Hooker via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-28)
Marlon Vera def. Ning Guangyou via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Jenel Lausa def. Yao Zhikui via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)