While Derek Brunson might have appeared over enthusiastic to an outside observer, Robert Whittaker was more than prepared for his opponent’s aggression. Whittaker just did not hesitate to engage in a slugfest with his American foe.

UFC Fight Night In Melbourne Was A Memorable One

Both men headlined UFC Fight Night 101 on Sunday, November 27 at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.

It seemed that the 25-year-old Australian was expecting an early flurry from Brunson, who charged out of the gate like a madman as he swung his punches but also leaving his chin open.

It was an effective strategy, but Brunson’s lack of control proved costly as Whittaker waited for his opening. Just enough to uncork a left hook that put the American fighter on spaghetti legs.

A jab followed by a high kick put Brunson in even more peril as Whittaker swarmed with uppercuts. He shoved his opponent down to the mat and delivered vicious blows. Referee Herb Dean was forced to halt the contest at the 4:07 mark of the first round.

Lots Of Action-Packed Fights All Around

“He came out hard and fast. All through the training camp I knew he would come out hard, that’s what he does,” Whittaker said in the post-fight interview.

“But I could not have anticipated him coming out that hard. I knew if I weathered the storm he was going to get tired [at some point].

“And that’s exactly what I did. I weathered the storm, he was tired afterwards and when you’re tired and I’m striking at you, holes open up,” he added.

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Although he won against a high-caliber middleweight, Whittaker admitted that he was in a dangerous position as he felt the power of Brunson.

“Everyone was saying, ‘What about Brunson’s left hand? What about his power?’ Credit to him, he’s got a heavy left hand. He’s got heavy power. He’s a super athlete,” he shared.

“But I hit just as hard. I think he knows it now.”

With the impressive victory over Brunson, Whittaker propelled himself into the upper-tier of the UFC’s middleweight division.

“I’ve been in the top 10 for a while now. I try to demonstrate my ability every time I step in here and make an example. I’m ready for those top 5 contenders. I’m ready for my shot. My run’s started,” he declared.

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