LAS VEGAS – In a meeting of recent winners of “The Ultimate Fighter,” Robert Whittaker had the Kryptonite to Colton Smith’s smothering style.
Expertly countering Smith’s charges, Whittaker bloodied and stopped him early in the third round.
The welterweight bout was part of today’s UFC 160 event at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. It aired on FX following additional prelims on Facebook and prior to a main card on pay-per-view.
With his right fist cocked by his chin, Whittaker, who won “The Ultimate Fighter: Australia vs. U.K.,” knew exactly what the wanted to do from the outset: stop the takedown. And stop it he did for much of the first round, sneaking in quick punches as “TUF 16? winner Smith closed the distance.
Whittaker was so focused on avoiding the takedown, he several times neglected to defend himself, and Smith capitalized with a few well-timed punches. A right hand dropped Whittaker, setting up a near-submission at the end of the first frame.
Smith immediately fought for the takedown early in the second and paid for it when Whittaker landed a left hand that wobbled him. He repaid the favor on several occasions, however, when Whittaker again left himself exposed to lead right hands. But despite a near-completed takedown midway through the frame, Whittaker continued to have success counter-striking. By the end of the frame, Smith’s face showed the bloody results of Whittaker’s punches.
Whittaker’s strategy won him the fight early in the third as Smith charged and caught a left hook to the jaw that prompted referee Chris Tognoni to intervene at the 0:41 mark of the third.
“I was hitting him a lot, so I’m thankful they stopped it when they did,” Whittaker said. “The referee is there to prevent injuries, and that’s exactly what he did. He clipped me good and shocked me a little, but I got my defenses up. I considered it good shot and I just tried to give him 10 back for every one that he gave me.”
“Robert Whittaker and I were throwing down in there for the fans,” Smith said. “I’ve been called a boring fighter in the past, and I really wanted to go in there and throw this time. We both knocked each other down. I was coherent when he dropped me and I could’ve gone five more rounds if needed. I’d love to have that third round back, but you don’t get second chances in the octagon. Even though I disagree with the referee’s decision, I respect how difficult their job is and I understand why they make the choices they make.”
Whittaker (11-2 MMA, 2-0 UFC) begins his post-reality show career on a high note while Smith (3-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC) suffers the second loss of his short pro career.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 160 results include:
John Morgan and Matt Erickson contributed to this report on-site in Las Vegas.view original article >>
Their first meeting was an instant classic. This time, champion Tyron Woodley promises a dominant performance over Stephen Thompson in their UFC 209 rematch. read news >>
The UFC is back in Las Vegas this weekend for a big UFC 209 event, and the promotion has rolled out its “Embedded” treatment for a preview of Saturday’s pay-per-view event at T-Mobile Arena. Check ou read news >>
The big winners from tonight's UFC 209: Woodley vs. Thompson 2 pay-per-view event in Las Vegas will field questions from the media following the event. read news >>
UFC 209 offered some exciting moments and fun highlights throughout Saturday night in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main event, however, did not. The highly anticipated welterweight title figh read news >>
UFC 209 didn't quite provide the fireworks expected, but it came through with a number of compelling bouts. Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson didn't get to make the walk to the cage, and the welt read news >>
After a setback against recent flyweight title challenger Henry Cejudo 16 months ago, Jussier Formiga believes he’s about to put himself right back into contention. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
Given his recent run of opponents, there’s no denying that Edson Barboza can now be considered a battle-tested UFC lightweight.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
Into every life, a little rain must fall. MMA fans are pretty accustomed to packing their umbrellas, and they needed them this week. UFC 209 lost a good deal of luster when Khabib Nurmagomedov, the f read news >>
On Episode 4 of UFC 209 Embedded, lightweight title contender Khabib Nurmagomedov meets one of his heroes, legendary boxer Mike Tyson. read news >>
Naturally, there is no love expected between UFC champ Cody Garbrandt and T.J. Dillashaw on the upcoming season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” This footage proves it.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, U read news >>