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UFC Fight Night 101 live results: Robert Whittaker vs. Derek Brunson

Welcome to F4WOnline.com's live coverage of UFC Fight Night 101: Whittaker vs. Brunson, eminating from Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.

The event is headlined by a five-round bout in the middleweight division as rising contenders Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson meet inside the Octagon. Whittaker, currently ranked seventh at 185 pounds, comes in having won his last five fights following a decision win over Rafael Natal at UFC 197 in April. Brunson, ranked just below Whittaker at eighth, has won five straight as well after scoring a knockout win over Uriah Hall in September.

The card is filled with several Australian fighters as lightweight prospect Jake Matthews looks to get back in the win column as he takes on Andrew Holbrook in the co-main event. Also on the main card is a welterweight bout between Kyle Noke and Omari Akhmedov, and Australian light heavyweight Tyson Pedro, who has been getting local attention, makes his UFC debut against Khalil Rountree.

Follow along with our live coverage of the event beginning at 6:30 PM eastern time with preliminary action all the way thru the main card.

Some additional coverage:
- UFC Fight Night 101 DFS Playbook

UFC FIGHT PASS PRELIMS | 6:30 PM ET/3:30 PM PT

 

Jenel Lousa (7-2) won a unanimous decision over Zhikui Yao (2-4) on scores of 30-2 x 3

Lausa basically dominated what was almost exclusively a kickboxing match. The first two rounds were very clearly his, with the third a little closer. I had the same score as all 3 judges.

Key moment was in the second round, where Lousa landed a head kick and Yao fell to the ground after a delayed reaction. Lousa followed up with ground and pound but then tried to finish him with a guillotine and when Yao escaped, he had time to recover. 

This fight was worth going out of your way to see. Lausa looked great in his UFC debut and should get a higher ranked flyweight next time out. Yao is now 1-3 in UFC but will probably get another shot as he usually has fun fights.

Marlon Vera (8-3-1) won a unanimous decision over Guangyou Ning on scores of 29-28 x 3 in a featherweight bout

This was another really good fight. Vera got a takedown halfway through the first round and controlled Ning for the rest of the round. The second was the exact opposite as Ning got the takedown and did quite a bit of damage. Not really close to finishing but more dominant than Vera was in the first.

The third round was closer but pretty clearly belonged to Vera. Ning basically ran out of gas in the 2nd. I had the same score as the judges.

Vera got a post-fight promo and talked about his daughter, who has a rare condition that won't allow her to smile. He's trying to raise money to get her an operation to correct that. 

Both these guys are products of regional TUF shows and probably won't go anywhere any time soon, despite their relatively mediocre records. Both are miles away from title contention though. 

Jason Knight (15-2) won a unanimous decision over Daniel Hooker (13-7) on scores of 29-28, 30-27 and 30-26 in a featherweight fight

Yet another good fight. Knight was the aggressor for the first two rounds and controlled Hooker for almost the entire second, earning a 10-8 on one judges card and on mine as well. But it was weird in the sense that Hooker was so relaxed through the whole fight and Knight was desparate and fighting like he was losing.

Third round was back and forth and just great. I scored it for Hooker as I think he did more damage and finally decided to fight. So, I had it 29-27 overall but all three judges scores were fine. 

Knight got some promo time and acknowledged the fact that the crowd was booing him all week. Hooker is a local and the crowd was not happy with the result but it was hard to argue it. Knight said that Dan Henderson is the "real champ" and he's just trying to work his way up the division. 

FOX SPORTS 1 PRELIMS | 8 PM ET/5 PM PT

Ben Nguyen (17-6) won a unanimous decision over Geana Herrera (9-3) on scores of 30-27, 30-26 and 30-27 in a flyweight fight

Herrera landing a spinning side kick to open the fight that dropped Nguyen but it was all downhill from there for him. Nguyen had a great performance and looked like a title contender in dominating a fight that was almost exclusively on the feet.

He was never close to finishing Herrera but clearly dominated all three round. Herrera got a takedown with 5 seconds left in the second in his only other real offence. I didn't see stats but it looked like Nguyen outlanded him at least at a 3 to 1 clip. 

Nguyen is 3-1 in UFC and should get a top 10 opponent next. He put over his mentor Brian Ebersole in his post-fight promo, who is celebrating a birthday today. Herrera is now 1-3 in UFC but all the losses have been to really good guys. 

Jonathan Meunier (8-1) won a unanimous decision over Richard Walsh (19-5) on scores of 30-27, 29-28 and 30-27 in a welterweight fight

Close fight. Meunier landed a hard spinning back fist with 30 seconds left in round 1 and then got a takedown to seal the round. Second round was very close again until 30 seconds left when Meunier started landing hard knees to the body and head.

In the third, it was back and forth. I had Walsh pulling it out by landing a couple takedowns in the last minute and doing quite a bit of damage but that round could've gone either way. 29-28 Meunier on my scorecard. 

No post-fight interview. Even though all the fights have gone to a decision, this has been a really good show so far. Meunier lost to the tough Colby Covington in his first UFC fight and this was his first win. Walsh is always going to get fights on these Australian shows. 

> Damien Brown (17-9) won a split decision over Jon Tuck (9-4) on scores of 29-28 x 2 and 28-29 in a lightweight fight. 

Another really good fight. Tuck dominated the first round, nearly finishing Brown a couple times and doing a lot of damage. I had it as a 10-8 round. In the second, Brown came on strong and Tuck almost stopped fighting. He landed a few combos but Brown clearly won that round.

The third could've gone either way as evidenced by the split decision. I had it for Tuck and a 29-27 scorecard but both guys landed a ton and had their moments in the third. Again, no post fight interview. 

Brown won his second straight after losing his UFC debut but he's miles away from contention. He's tough as hell and a good guy to have on the cards. Tuck has lost 2 straight, both by split decision, and is now 3-4 in UFC. So he's two judge's scorecards away from a 5-2 UFC record. He's a recognizable and shouldn't be in any danger of being cut. 

Media scores were split right down the middle on that one, with 6 having it for Brown and 6 for Tuck, including two 29-27 scores. 

> Dan Kelly (12-1) won a unanimous decision over Chris Camozzi on scores of 29-28, 30-27 and 29-27 in a middleweight fight 

This sounds like a broken record but another great fight here. Camozzi controlled the first, just picking Kelly off with left jabs at will. He landed an elbow and opened up a huge cut on Kelly's forehead that was bleeding like a faucet for the rest of the fight. In the second, Kelly took him down early and held him there for the rest of the round and doing quite a bit of damage. The third round was very close until the last minute when Kelly got a takedown and finished with a flurry of punches. 

I scored it 29-27. No idea how one judge scored the first round for Kelly. The right guy won but that was a really bad score. 

Kelly got a post-fight promo but didn't get a chance to say much, other than that he thought he had won the first two rounds so it didn't matter what happened in the third. 

That was a pretty big upset and the Australian crowd seeing their local hero pull it off. Kelly is 39 now and with a great record, he could get a big fight next. Camozzi has lost 2 in a row now and really needs a win in his next fight. 

FOX SPORTS 1 MAIN CARD | 10 PM ET/7 PM PT

Danielle Taylor (8-2) won a split decision over Seo Hee Ham (17-8) on scores of 30-27 x 2 and 28-29 in a strawweight fight

Terrible fight to kick off the main card. Ham chased Taylor around for the whole fight. In the first she landed more strikes and clearly took that one. Taylor started to connect more while retreating in the second but not enough to take the round in my opinion.

In the third round, Taylor was landing a lot more and it seemed like Ham was whiffing on almost all of her punches. With about 30 seconds left, Ham tried to call a time out after an eye poke but the ref didn't see it and Taylor landed a ton of punches afterward. Taylor got a late takedown. 

Crowd booed the decision. The 2nd round was close so it wasn't a bad decision but I don't see how Ham didn't win the first round. No post fight promos.

I never need to see Danielle Taylor fight again but I'm sure I will. She had an awful fight with Maryna Moroz in her UFC debut. She is so short that I think it makes it harder to hit her and for whatever reason the fights are very boring. 

After this fight, they officially announced that Cormier was out of the main event of UFC 206 and  that Conor McGregor was stripped of the UFC featherweight title. They also announced that Jose Aldo is the new official featherweight champion and that the Max Holloway vs Anthony Pettis fight is now for the interim featherweight title.

Also announced is that Tim Kennedy, who was originally scheduled to take on Rashad Evans, will now face Kelvin Gastelum in a middleweight bout. Gastelum was scheduled to face Donald Cerrone at UFC 205 at welterweight but missed weight badly. 

> Tyson Pedro (5-0) submitted Khalil Rountree in a light heavyweight fight at 4:07

The first finish of the night! Pedro was knocked down early but quickly recovered and scored a takedown. He didn't do anything with it and Rountree made his way to his feet after about a minute. Pedro then got another takedown, quickly moved into mount and then took Rountree's back. He secured a rear naked choke and got the quick tap.

That's five first round finishes in five fights for the Australian, who was making his UFC debut. He's got a lot of hype and could be the local star that Jake Matthews was supposed to be (and still could end up being). Rountree has not looked in either of his UFC bouts and will likely get cut after this. He's young enough to fight his way back to UFC with some seasoning on the regional circuit.

Pedro put over the crowd and said they helped him to the win. He said Rountree was as strong as a truck. He asked for the 50K bonus. Usually that doesn't work but it probably will here. 

> Alex Volkanovski (14-1) scored a TKO over Yusuke Kasuya (9-3-2) at 2:06 of the 2nd round of a lightweight fight

Volkanovski dominated the fight by taking Kasuya down and landing vicious ground and pound. In the first, Kasuya had a short period of time where he got a takedown and controlled Volkanovski but the second was all the debuting Australian fighter. He finished Kasuya with punches on the ground that were undefended while Kasuya was working for a heel hook. 

This was the debut fight in UFC for Volkanovski and his 11th straight win. 10 of them have come by stoppage. Volkanovski did the "Whoop There It Is" song for the crowd to a light reaction at best. He says he's the smallest lightweight in the divsiion but he'll go down to 145 or even bantamweight. He then said he'd even go up to 185 if they asked him to. 

Kasuya has lost both of his UFC fights and has not looked good in either one. Look for him on a Pancrase show near you in 2017. 

> Omari Akhmedov (16-4) beat Kyle Noke (22-10-1) by unanimous decision on scores of 29-28 x 2 and 30-27 in a welterweight fight

Really boring fight for the most part. Akhmedov threw punches on the feet while Noke almost exclusively threw kicks. Each round Akhmedov scored a takedown and did damage in each of the first two. Noke was never even close to getting up from a takedown except the last one in the third. 

It was frustrating because Noke knew he was down and his corner told him he had to go all out and he just didn't. He just kept his distance and didn't want to engage with Akhmedov the whole fight. I had it 30-27 although round 3 was close enough that 29-28 wasn't a terrible score.

Akhmedov needed that win as he'd lost 2 in a row and 3 of his last 5. Noke is a mainstay and will be on every Australian card until he retires most likely. But he did not look good here at all. 

> Andrew Holbrook (12-1) won a split decision over Jake Matthews (11-3) on scores of 29-28 x 2 and 28-29 in a lightweight fight

All 3 rounds were close. Matthews spent most of the last two rounds on top on the ground but Holbrook was far more active, going for submissions and landing more punches and elbows. I gave Holbrook the first two rounds and Matthews the third for a 29-28 score but almost any score would've been okay with such close rounds. 

Matthews somehow hurt his foot in the first round and it was pretty noticably swollen by the third but it didn't seem to affect his movement. 

Holbrook put over Matthews as a tough opponent and the crowd as well, which drew light applause. But Matthews was the biggest star on the show to the locals and they did not like this at all. 

Matthews has lost two in a row but he's just 22 and should be able to rebound from this. Big upset win for Holbrook as he was the biggest betting underdog on the card. 

> Robert Whittaker (17-4) scored a TKO over Derek Brunson (16-4) in a middleweight fight at 4:07

This was wild. Brunson was balls to the wall from the opening bell and had Whitaker in real trouble. He kept trying for takedowns but was getting stopped pretty easily. He seemed to run out of gas and then Whitaker took over. He rocked him with a combo but Brunson stayed on his feet. 30 seconds later, Brunson went for another takedown and Whitaker rocked him again with a head kick/punch combo and then Brunson went down. Whitaker pounced on him and finished him with ground and pound fairly quickly. 

Whitaker vaults onto the list of title contenders with his 6th straight win. Really, they could headline a stadium show in Australia with him vs Michael Bisping, although Bisping would have to get past Yoel Romero first. In any event, he's getting a big big fight next time out. This was a star making performance. 

After the Matthews loss in the co-main, the crowd needed this and responded with one of the best reactions you'll hear on a TV card. Whitaker said the fight went as expected and put over Brunson as a hard hitter. He didn't give a name but said he wants a top 5 fighter next. 

This show tied a record for most decisions on a UFC card with 10 and after a really good start, the card really started to drag during the main card. Great capper to the card with the first round finish in the main event though. 

Thanks for joining me tonight and if you prefer my play by play style coverage, check it out at MMADraws.com