New Zealand-born Australian Robert Whittaker stunned Derek Brunson of the US with a first round technical knockout in their main event middleweight clash at UFC Fight Night 101 in Melbourne on Sunday.
Whittaker (17-4) seemed to be in trouble from the start in the opening round with Brunson (16-4) pressurising with wild flurries and takedown attempts in what looked like heading for an easy win for the American.
— Josh Saenz (@MMAComplexJosh) November 27, 2016
But suddenly things changed when Whittaker countered Brunson's attempted left punch with a head kick and finished it off landing punches on the floor to be awarded the TKO victory at 4:07 of the first round.
The 25-year-old Whittaker has now won six in a row and is one of the top contenders in the middleweight division.
In the co-main event, American 30-year-old Andrew Holbrook won a split decision against hometown fighter Jake Matthews (29-28 Holbrook, 29-28 Matthews, 29-28 to Holbrook).
FULL CARD AND RESULTS FOR UFC FIGHT NIGHT MELBOURNE (*Denotes Australian):
Robert Whittaker* d Derek Brunson via first round TKO
Andrew Holbrook d Jake Matthews* via split decision (29-28 Holbrook, 29-28 Matthews, 29-28 to Holbrook)
Omari Akhmedov d Kyle Noke* via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Alex Volkanovski* d Yusuke Kasuya via second round TKO
Tyson Pedro* d Khalil Rountree via first round rear naked choke submission
Danielle Taylor d Seo Hee Ham via split decision (29-28 Ham, 30-27 Taylor, 30-27 Taylor)
Daniel Kelly* (11-1-0) d Chris Camozzi via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 30-27)
Damien Brown* d Jon Tuck by split decision (29-28 Tuck, 29-28 Brown, 29-28 Brown)
Jonathan Meunier d Rich Walsh* via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Ben Nguyen* d. Geane Herrera via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)
Jason Knight def Dan Hooker* by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-26)
Marlon Vera def Ning Guangyou by unanimous decision (29-28)
Jenel Lausa def Yao Zhikui by unanimous decision (30-27)