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UndercarDVR: UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Whittaker

Welcome to another installment of UndercarDVR, where we review what you need to see from this week in fights and whether it needs to be watched, deleted, or put in fast forward.

 

Contributor: Nolan Howell

 

Middleweight: Robert Whittaker defeated Derek Brunson by first-round TKO.
  • Just a brutal fight for positioning here as Brunson looked to keep the darting Whittaker with his back against the fence. Brunson had Whittaker in trouble with some dirty boxing as he herded him around the cage. Brunson’s pressure got him in trouble as his level changes coming up from takedown attempts left his chin wide open and Whittaker took advantage of an attempt to close distance with a looping overhand left. A combo punctuated by a jab to head kick combo put Brunson on the canvas and Whittaker finished him off there.
  • Whittaker is ready for the best at middleweight and can present troubles for anyone with his karate-style in-and-out footwork and powerful punching. Brunson can rebound, but his aggressive style can lead to lapses in fight IQ that may prevent him from ever reaching the top of the division.
  • Verdict: Sit down and watch this brawl.

 

Lightweight: Andrew Holbrook defeated Jake Matthews by split decision.

  • Pressure was the name of the game for Holbrook as he managed to eek out a decision in a rather dull fight. Matthews was unable to handle the activity of Holbrook, despite looking solid on the feet at range. Matthews also was stifled on the ground as his powerful grappling would often lead to counters in the scramble that put Holbrook on top or in position for submission attempts. This is an impressive win for Holbrook against the young combo prospect-vet in Matthews and both should still be on the lookout for brighter things in the future.
  • Delete this one.

 

Welterweight: Omari Akhmedov defeated Kyle Noke by unanimous decision.
  • The Noke era in the UFC is just about over as Akhemdov put on an impressively ugly performance. Patiently waiting and eating kicks from Noke on the feet, Akhmedov mauled Noke to the ground and threw heavy from the top. Noke looked helplessly defensive on the bottom and it made for a dull fight overall. Akhmedov will continue to be a risky low-level gatekeeper prone to inconsistency, while Noke hopefully lands on his feet elsewhere or calls it a day after nearly 15 years of fighting, five of those in the UFC.
  • Delete it.

 

Lightweight: Alex Volkanovski defeated Yasuke Kasuya by second-round TKO.
  • Volkanovski looked impressive here and brought a ground and pound arsenal that is unique and a throwback of sorts. Kasuya had nothing for him and Volkanovski styled from top control to a quick finish. Kasuya looks to be headed back to the Japanese regionals barring a learning spurt, while Volkanovski seems to be headed to 145 or 135 where he can make some noise with this aggressive ground attack.
  • Fast forward and keep the thumb on the pause button to get a taste of what Volkanovski brings to table as he looks to have some impact in the future.

 

Light Heavyweight: Tyson Pedro defeated Khalil Rountree by first-round submission.
  • This was not high at as far as MMA goes. Rountree rocked Pedro early in the round and Pedro was able to get him down, wear him out, and grab a rear naked choke. Sloppy, fun, and fine given it didn’t even last a round.
  • Probably not even worth deeply analyzing what comes next for these two. Rountree likely isn’t long for the UFC since he can’t shore up the holes in his game that relies mostly on natural ability and Pedro looks to continue to make a name in the UFC.
  • Watch it if you’re really hankering, but fast forward to the finish otherwise.

 

Women’s Strawweight: Danielle Taylor defeated Seo Hee Ham by split decision.
  • Yikes. Nothing to see here. Taylor robbed Ham as she moved around the cage like she was on a miniature train set track. Hopefully Ham gets another shot as a generally fun fighter to watch. Taylor is game and knows how to win fights (hint: eyepokes), but doubt that counts for much long-term.
  • Delete unless you want to make yourself dizzy and pissed off at MMA judging and officiating.