Robert Whittaker has found new life at 185 pounds, where he's now 3-0 after defeating Uriah Hall in an exciting throw down at UFC 193 on Saturday night.
Whittaker was originally expected to face Michael Bisping on the card, but when injury forced the switch, the New Zealand-born knockout artist never blinked and still put on a solid performance over three rounds.
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Ultra-aggressive like always, Whittaker stalked Hall across the Octagon as soon as the fight started while trying to put together his combinations before landing a hard right hand that rattled the former "Ultimate Fighter" runner-up.
Hall stayed calm and didn't overreact to the situation as he stepped back into the center of the Octagon to make his stand.
Well known for his flashy style, Hall finally uncorked a spinning kick attack midway through the first round, but couldn't connect with any of his shots. The combination ended with him on the ground and Whittaker on top.
Whittaker continued his attack on the ground through the end of the round as he sent Hall back to his corner trying to figure out where to go next.
Hall just couldn't get his rhythm during the second round, especially after Whittaker cracked him with a punch to the eye that paused the fight when it appeared for a moment to be an accidental poke. The replay showed that Whittaker landed directly to the eye with a closed-fist punch, but it gave Hall a break to hit the reset button.
The fighters wasted no time getting the action going in round three with Whittaker and Hall both swinging for the fences right away.
Whittaker landed the best shot in the exchange as Hall winced in pain and he tried to go for the finish with a series of quick uppercuts but just couldn't do much more damage. Upon the separation, Hall came out guns blazing, firing off head kicks and flying knees trying to get the finish after likely losing the first two rounds.
The final minute saw Whittaker and Hall unload several big shots before the horn sounded in an exciting middleweight showdown.
The judges all saw the fight the same way with Whittaker earning the decision 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.
Whittaker is now 3-0 in his middleweight campaign after starting his career in the UFC as a welterweight following his win on "The Ultimate Fighter: Smashes". Whittaker is certainly an interesting prospect to watch in 2016 as he begins jumping into the deep end at 185 pounds.