This is a battle between two of the least heralded tournament winners in Ultimate Fighter history. Smith is a rather dull wrestler who won the US version of the show and sports a 3-1 MMA record. Whittaker won the UK vs. Australia version of the show and is 10-2 for his career.
Round 1. Smith shoots for a takedown but Whittaker blocks it nicely. Smith lands a solid right punch. Whittaker shows little respect for Smith's standup, holding his lead hand down at his waist. Whittaker generally gets the best of the punching exchanges and punishes Smith when he goes in for a takedown. Smith pushes forward with punches trying to set up a takedown and he drops Whittaker with a right punch. Smith looks for a kimura but can't get it and they return to their feet to close the round. 10-9 Smith.
Round 2. Smith looks for a takedown and gets stunned with a counter hook. Smith charges forward desperately and eats a few more heavy punches. Smith again looks for a takedown but Whittaker is barely able to wiggle out of Smith's grip. Smith opens up with a few kicks but doesn't look as comfortable standing as Whittaker. Smith's eye is in bad shape from the accumulation of punches. Whittaker dazes Smith with a nice cross and Smith is bleeding badly. Whittaker lands a series of heavy uppercuts on the inside and really takes over in the closing minutes of the round. First round was close. The second was not. 10-9 Whittaker.
Round 3. As Smith recklessly charges in again, he gets caught with another counter hook that drops him. Whittaker follows with punches on the ground and the fight is stopped. That stoppage appeared to be a little premature but Smith was wobbly getting up.
Winner: Robert Whittaker, TKO, round 3.Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Abel Trujillo
The 19-0 Nurmagomedov has looked good in his first three UFC wins and could be a threat in the deep UFC lightweight division. Trujillo looked impressive in his UFC debut, a victory over Marcus LeVesseur in December.
Round 1. Trujillo charges forward with straight punches on Nurmagomedov. Nurmagomedov is able to defend. Trujillo then charges forward in a similar manner but ducks down and takes Khabib down. Nurmagomedov looks for an armbar and secures top position. Trujillo stands up but is slammed back down. Trujillo stands up again and is slammed back down again. This process repeats itself another six or seven times, with Nurmagomedov taking Trujillo down over and over again. Finally in a scramble Trujillo takes top position but Nurmagomedov immediately looks to lock up a triangle choke submission. Nurmagomedov rolls over into a mounted triangle, choking Trujillo from top position. Nurmagomedov looks for an armbar but can't secure it. He retains the triangle while rolling over and the time in the round expires. 10-8 Nurmagomedov.
Round 2. Nurmagomedov looks to take the fight to the ground but Trujillo stops it and swings for the fences with a few powerful hooks. One lands and does some serious damage but most miss. Nurmagomedov fires back and looks to take the fight back down to the ground. Nurmagomedov pulls Trujillo down and takes his back with a body triangle. Nurmagomedov can't quite lock it up and Trujillo gets free from the potentially hazardous position. Trujillo tries to stand up but is taken back down. In a scramble, Trujillo briefly gets the advantageous mount position but Nurmagomedov immediately gets out and takes top position. Nurmagomedov continues riding Trujillo for the remainder of the round. Trujillo is game but he can't deal with Nurmagomedov's control. 10-9 Nurmagomedov.
Round 3. Trujillo lunges forward with a hook but Nurmagomedov grabs a clinch and takes Trujillo back down to the mat. Trujillo tries to get back up but Nurmagomedov just holds onto his back and won't let him up. Finally, Trujillo rolls around and just allows Nurmagomedov to take top position inside Trujillo's guard. Trujillo stands up again and the process from the first round repeats itself, with Trujillo repeatedly standing up and then getting slammed right back down by Nurmagomedov. The fight mercifully comes to an end. 10-9 Nurmagomedov, 30-26 Nurmagomedov.
Winner: Khabib Nurmagomedov, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
In preliminary action, Jeremy Stephens scored a unanimous decision victory in a bloody contest against Estevan Payan. George Roop recovered from a tough first round to score a TKO win in the second over Brian Bowles. And Stephen Thompson used his unique karate style to pick up a judges' decision over Nah-Shon Burrell.
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