Despite UFC rankings and hometown advantage, Brunson favored over Whittaker
It is a pivotal UFC middleweight clash that is seemingly flying under the radar. Number eight ranked Derek Brunson clashes with number seven seed Robert Whittaker this Saturday in the main event at UFC Fight Night 101.
Between the two UFC cards last weekend, the mega UFC 205 card on November 12, and the Tony Ferguson vs. Rafael Dos Anjos fight before that, on top of this being a holiday week with Thanksgiving, the Brunson vs. Whittaker bout is not a whole heck of a lot of media attention.
The card takes place at the Rod Laver Arena in Victoria, Melbourne, Australia and despite the slightly higher ranking and the event taking place in his home country of Australia, Whittaker is coming in as the underdog.
Whittaker (16-4) is currently riding a five fight win streak with wins over competitors Rafael Natal, Uriah Hall, Brad Tavares, Clint Hester, and Mike Rhodes.
His opponent, Brunson (16-3), also on a five fight win streak inside the UFC octagon has dropped only one fight since signing with the organization, a TKO loss to Yoel Romero who is next in line to challenge for the title.
Brunson’s last five wins are over Hall, Roan Carneiro, Sam Alvey, Ed Herman, and Lorenz Larkin.
So Why is Brunson Favored to Win?
According to sites like GamblingInsider.ca, the odds are currently in favor of the American, Brunson.
The current line is -150 for Brunson and +120 for Whittaker. For those new to sports betting, what that means is that if you are betting on Brunson to win you will have to put down $150 to win $100. If you put money on Whittaker, $100 down wins you $120.
A Bleacher Report prediction article has Brunson winning via fourth round TKO. Four of his last five wins have been via TKO or KO. Brunson may have the better grappling and wrestling pedigree of the two middleweights as well.
Per the Bleacher Report article: “This fight will come down to whether or not Whittaker can stop the takedown. Brunson is a smart fighter who realizes he is on the precipice of breaking through to the next level, and he knows he has a distinct edge with his wrestling.”
UFC 101 takes place this Saturday night, November 26 with preliminary bouts streaming live on UFC Fight Pass starting at 6:30 pm EST followed by the second set of prelims on FS1 at 8 pm, and main card action starting at 10.