Brunson came out aggressively with heavy punches and take down attempts, but Whittaker defended well and fired back. Later in the opening round, Whittaker tagged Brunson with a headkick and then put away the powerful wrestler with punches from above.
The victory was Whittaker’s six straight and ended Brunson’s five fight winning streak. Whittaker was ranked #7 in the UFC’s middleweight division prior to tonight.
In the co-headliner, Andrew Holbrook worked his way to a split decision win over lightweight prospect Jake Matthews. Holbrook pressured Matthews throughout the fight, and when the latter took the bout down, he threatened the Australian fighter with leglocks and kimuras. After the competitive and entertaining bout, Holbrook was awarded the upset, split decision win.
Here are the results for UFC FN 101, which took place in Melbourne, Australia.
Robert Whittaker def. Derek Brunson via TKO (punches) 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)
Alex Volkanovski def. Yusuke Kasuya via TKO (punches) 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 (30-27, 30-27, 28-29)
Dan 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)
Jason Knight def. Dan Hooker via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-26)
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)