UFC 254 is set to pop off this Saturday night (Oct. 24, 2020), marking the final Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) event of 2020 on “Fight Island,” which is located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The co-main event will feature a Middleweight showdown between Robert Whittaker and Jared Cannonier in what is most likely a title eliminator fight. For “The Reaper,” it’s his opportunity to get back to a championship rematch against division king, Israel Adesanya, who dethroned him one year ago.
Before Whittaker starts swinging leather with “Killa Gorilla,” let’s take a trip down Memory Lane to the night the former champion put on a great striking display against Derek Brunson. In Sept. 2016, the two men were tasked with headlining UFC Fight Night 101 in Melbourne, Australia.
The action got started early, as Brunson was eager to impose his will, rushing in with strikes and trying multiple times to take down “Bobby Knuckles.” To his credit, Whittaker displayed good counter-attacks and takedown defense. He did, however, have to show off great striking defense early in round one because Bronson unleashed a barrage of strikes that prompted him to cover up.
With a little less than two minutes to go, an overzealous Brunson got a bit too reckless, rushing in throwing sloppy punches. That allowed Whittaker to unleash a powerful right hook that rocked his foe. That was the beginning of the end, as Whittaker peppered Brunson for the next 60 seconds with shots before landing a high kick that ultimately produced the finish.
Now, “The Reaper” will look for a repeat performance against a man who used to compete in the Heavyweight division and knows a thing or three about getting tagged with heavy bombs.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 254 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ESPN 2/ESPN+ at 12 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 2 p.m. ET on ESPN+.
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