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UFC Fight Night 101: Whittaker vs. Brunson (11/26/2016) - Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Rod Laver Arena)

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UFC_Fight_Night_Melbourne_Whittaker_vs._

UFC Fight Night 101: Whittaker vs. Brunson 
November 26, 2016
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Rod Laver Arena)

Robert Whittaker (185) vs. Derek Brunson (186) - Whittaker, TKO (head kick and punches), R1 (4:07)
Jake Matthews (155) vs. Andrew Holbrook (154) - Holbrook, DEC (split)
Kyle Noke (170) vs. Omari Akhmedov (171) - Akhmedov, DEC (unanimous)
Yusuke Kasuya (156) vs. Alex Volkanovski (154) - Volkanovski, TKO (punches), R2 (2:06)
Tyson Pedro (205) vs. Khalil Rountree (206) - Pedro, SUB (rear naked choke), R1 (4:07)
Seo Hee Ham (115) vs. Danielle Taylor (115) - Taylor, DEC (split)

Fox Sports 1 Preliminary Card:
Daniel Kelly (186) vs. Chris Camozzi (186) - Kelly, DEC (unanimous)
Damien Brown (154) vs. Jon Tuck (156) - Brown, DEC (split)
Richard Walsh (171) vs. Jonathan Meunier (171) - Meunier, DEC (unanimous)
Ben Nguyen (126) vs. Geane Herrera (125) - Nguyen, DEC (unanimous)

Fight Pass Preliminary Card:
Dan Hooker (146) vs. Jason Knight (145) - Knight, DEC (unanimous)
Marlon Vera (144) vs. Guangyou Ning (146) - Vera, DEC (unanimous)
Zhikui Yao (126)* vs. Jenel Lausa (125) - Lausa, DEC (unanimous)

*Reweighed after weighing 127 on first attempt

Event Bonuses ($50,000):
Performance of the Night: Tyson Pedro
Performance of the Night: Robert Whittaker
Fight of the Night: Robert Whittaker vs. Derek Brunson

Attendance: 13,721
Gate: $1.64 million
Rating: 686,000 viewers

Cancelled Bouts:
Kyle Noke vs. Dominique Steele - Injury to Steele
Luke Rockhold vs. Ronaldo Souza - Injury to Rockhold (Knee)

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There will be no early weigh ins for this card since the card is technically happening on Sunday morning in Australia.

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Surprised that Matthews didn't get the decision. I thought the judges would reward Matthews for getting Holbrook down and spending plenty of time in the round in top position.

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If Robert Whittaker wasn't in the title conversation before, he should be now.

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25 minutes ago, TheVileOne said:

If Robert Whittaker wasn't in the title conversation before, he should be now.

He definitely did what he needed to do, but Florian said it best postfight: everyone isn't going to fight him like Derek Brunson.

Even then, Brunson managed to hurt Whittaker while running straight at him. I think it's going to be tough for him to break into that upper crust at middleweight. I think someone like Mousasi would be a nightmare matchup for him. He can mix it up and keep Whittaker guessing. How does he fare in a fight that's not a pier six brawl or strictly hinging on a fight ending setup and sequence?

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If Whittaker were matched up against Bisping next, I'd pick Whittaker.

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After watching how Bisping fought all year and the damage he manage to somehow escape, I think Bisping would find a way to pick Whittaker apart for 25 minutes. Whittaker is one of those prototypical brawlers that Bisping has managed to beat the entirety of his career. If Bisping gets past two rounds, what the hell does Whittaker look like? IMO they probably split those first two rounds and then Bisping takes the next three just because he's a work machine. He has a style that can frustrate Whittaker, who really hasn't encountered something like that since he fought Wonderboy a division down.

I think this fight and the Sapo fight shows that Whittaker is there to be hit. You don't have to search for him. 

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I'm just watching the main event now and both of these guys are fighting like dudes you'd see at the local level. Lunging/leaning forward, chins unprotected and straight up, throwing punches while wading straight in. Really ugly stuff. Whittaker was getting trapped against the fence at every opportunity. Bisping, unless he gets hit with one big shot, definitely beats either of these guys.

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27 minutes ago, Oyaji said:

I'm just watching the main event now and both of these guys are fighting like dudes you'd see at the local level. Lunging/leaning forward, chins unprotected and straight up, throwing punches while wading straight in. Really ugly stuff. Whittaker was getting trapped against the fence at every opportunity. Bisping, unless he gets hit with one big shot, definitely beats either of these guys.

Bisping constantly circles into Hendo's H-Bomb.  He's not unbeatable.

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26 minutes ago, TheVileOne said:

Bisping constantly circles into Hendo's H-Bomb.  He's not unbeatable.

I don't think anybody is saying that. Whittaker has more technical lapses than you would like and needs to fights a certain style to win his fights. It's like Brandon Rios vs. Manny Pacquiao or Timothy Bradley in boxing. The only way Brandon Rios wins fights is if you decide to fight him in a phone booth. Otherwise, you can pick him apart all night if you're a proficient boxer.

It's tough to watch him fight someone like Rafael Natal and walk away with a feeling he can compete with a Jacare, Romero, Weidman, Mousasi, or Rockhold. He was swinging wildly, and his chin is so high up in the air. Last night, Brunson fought him with the worst possible strategy and still almost won. If this was a lighter weight class, I would feel more confident that he breaks that glass ceiling. Say what you want about Bisping, but Jason Parillo has tightened up his game tremendously. He isn't going to be running in straight lines at Robert Whittaker. Mousasi, who is likely to face him next, definitely isn't going to be doing that. I think that's probably the worst style matchup for Whittaker at 185.

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Let's not forget, before Bisping beat Rockhold, people, especially posters here, thought he was garbage and never a legitimate contender.  People always bemoaned that UFC protected him, and he could never beat legitimate top 10 competition and compete with the top 10 guys.  

If I'm trying to make a point here, let's put Whittaker into the deeper waters now and see how he swims.  I'm confident in Whittaker's abilities.  Also, I like Bisping, but he has plenty of holes in his game as well, but he still managed to become champion and defend his belt.

Chris Weidman now already looks like he's in decline.

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Yeah, don't get me wrong, Bisping is a flawed fighter but I think his technique would see him through against Whittaker.

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1 hour ago, TheVileOne said:

Let's not forget, before Bisping beat Rockhold, people, especially posters here, thought he was garbage and never a legitimate contender.  People always bemoaned that UFC protected him, and he could never beat legitimate top 10 competition and compete with the top 10 guys.  

If I'm trying to make a point here, let's put Whittaker into the deeper waters now and see how he swims.  I'm confident in Whittaker's abilities.  Also, I like Bisping, but he has plenty of holes in his game as well, but he still managed to become champion and defend his belt.

Chris Weidman now already looks like he's in decline.

I have never thought Bisping was garbage. I always said he was on a different island than a lot of other middleweights, which was weird then because 185 was more top heavy than now. When he was at Wolfslair, he hardly listened to his coaches and that cost him his biggest fights. Since moving to the US and making Parillo his head coach, he's making wiser decisions and that has paid dividends. I think six or seven years ago, he wouldn't have beat Anderson or be able to decision Dan Henderson. Plus, Rockhold would've been able to replicate that first win easily.

Is he going to be a long reigning champion? Doubtful since he already acknowledges he has one foot out the door already. The next time he loses will probably be his last fight unless some crazy money fight pops up. Plus, he's firmly entrenched in his fighting style. He has been able to add new wrinkles over time, but there is nothing that will create a gap between him and other contenders. However, they have made him competitive with the best and made him world champion. That's all you can ask for on the wrong side of thirty.

As far as Weidman goes, I think there is some physical decline but keep in mind, Rockhold and Romero are tremendous athletes. Anytime you push back against him, it's going to be a wild fight. The problem that creates for Weidman is he can't control that type of fight unless he is the better athlete in the fight. Against aging fighters beyond their prime, he is going to look superb because he is a great grappler with power and a sturdy chin. Against fighters with comparable athleticism, it's going to be a toss up. You can't account for a dude like Yoel Romero hitting crazy takedowns and flying knees out of nowhere. Who in the division can Romero not do that shit to? Rockhold and Romero are extremely tough matchups for anyone.

Right now, I think Weidman still starches Whittaker. If Whittaker is leaving his chin out there, Weidman is going to find him eventually. I think Whittaker would need Weidman to shoot takedowns with very little setup and just get frustrated enough to go toe-to-toe. However, even if Weidman didn't knock him out standing, he can get Whittaker to the ground and probably pound him out or take his back for a RNC.

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Weidman abandons caution and leaves his chin and head wide open too.  Even Luke Rockhold recognized that Weidman tends to just barrel forward and throw away all his defense.

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11 minutes ago, TheVileOne said:

Weidman abandons caution and leaves his chin and head wide open too.  Even Luke Rockhold recognized that Weidman tends to just barrel forward and throw away all his defense.

You have a very loose definition of abandon because if that was the case, Rockhold would have stopped him on the feet easily. Also, that would make someone like Robert Whittaker one of the worst defensive fighters of all time.  

If Whittaker was able to box and move as well as Rockhold did, he wouldn't have looked as sloppy as he did against Rafael Natal and would have made Brunson look absolutely silly.

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1 minute ago, Elsalvajeloco said:

You have a very loose definition of abandon because if that was the case, Rockhold would have stopped him on the feet easily. Also, that would make someone like Robert Whittaker one of the worst defensive fighters of all time.  

He didn't seem to have too hard of a time picking Weidman apart.  There's no reason the fight should've gotten out of the third round anyway.  

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