UFC comes to Auckland, New Zealand for the first time and the opening bout is a battle of welterweights.
170lb Welterweight Bout; Robert Whittaker (11-4) vs Mike Rhodes (6-2)
Round 1: Robert lands a kick early, and another to the leg of Rhodes, Rob steps in and lands a harder leg kick, Mike answers with a leg kick of his own. Not a lot of action in the first 2 minutes, Robert makes Mike slip and bobs out of any countering of Rhodes and lands some offensive hands of his own. Rob lands a leg kick and a left to right combo. Rhodes lands a left leg kick then presses Rob against the cage, he lands a stepping head kick but only slightly and the round comes to an end.
Round 2: Rhodes steps in with a left, then takes Whittaker down but Rob pops right back up. Mike pressed Rob along the cage but both break off. The combatants circle for about a minute with minimal action, Rob lands a hard left and backs Rhodes up. Robert lands another left and starts to make Mike’s eye swell, and lands another left. Rhodes scores a leg kick but eats a lead left from Rob. Whittaker lands a right to left combo, and paws more with the left, then an overhand left lands partially. Rob lands an overhand right and his offense is on display and pleases the fans just before the bell rings.
Round 3: Rob lands a short left, and keeps throwing his left out there, and scores another right-left combo. Whittaker knows his range and bobs in and out of it, and lands his lead left at will. Rhodes can’t find an answer but tries a partially landed left body kick. Robert lands a surprising take-down and works from guard, and works slightly for a kimura but lets it go and starts to land elbows. Robert continues to control from the ground until the fight ends.
Official Decision; Robert Whittaker def. Mike Rhodes via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)