UFC Fight Night 101 is an event that will be held on November 27th, 2016 at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia where top welterweight (170lb) contenders Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson clash in a fight which will surely put the winner in line for a title shot in in 2017.
In the UFC betting odds Derek Brunson is the marginal favourite at 8/11 with SkyBet, with Robert Whittaker trading at a top price of 13/10 with Coral. This is a terrific stylistic match-up, but how will the fight play out?
Robert Whittaker is a former winner of “The Ultimate Fighter” and is unbeaten since moving to the UFC’s middleweight division, but he knows he isn’t viewed as a top contender in that weight class just yet.
At UFC Fight Night 101, Whittaker has an opportunity to elevate his status within the division. He won has last five fights with considerable authority against solid competitors, but a win over Brunson would certainly have the desired effect in terms of sending out a message to the top 5.
Brunson comes here with similar overall profile, but with a little more kicking and screaming along the way. The North Carolina born 32-year old has KO’d 4 of his last 5 opponents and is a very heavy hitter riding the crest of a wave. But Whittaker is definitely his stiffest test to date, a karate black belt with an excellent judgement of range. He has very good hands and footwork and may well be able to get out of the first round or two unscathed by Brunson’s power.
As fights wear on, KO power tends to diminish and if Whittaker can ride the early storm, he can be expected to come out on top in the striking exchanges. Whether he can finish Brunson is up for debate, but he certainly has the ability to pick away at him.
Obviously, Brunson can end this fight in the twinkling of an eye. But Robert Whittaker presents a new challenge and if he can impose himself, the win is definitely there for him down under.