A middleweight bout between Robert Whittaker (16-4 MMA) and Rafael Natal (21-7-1 MMA) took place on the UFC 197 main card in Las Vegas.
Round one begins and the fighters exchange leg kicks. Whittaker with a nice left jab. Natal with a jab but he eats an uppercut for his troubles. Rafael with a nice front kick to the body. The fighters trade body kicks. Natal with a leg kick and then a nice right hand. Whittaker with a nice hard leg kick. Natal replies with one of his own. Big left hook scores for Robert. Natal shoots in but cannot secure a takedown. Nice leg kick from Whittaker. Natal fires back with a big leg kick of his own. Good jab and then a kick from Robert. Another leg kick lands for Whittaker and then another. Big left hand and then a right lands for Robert. Natal returns fire. Whittaker with another solid combo. Huge left from Whittaker. Round one comes to an end.
Round two begins and Natal opens with a leg kick. Big shots from Whittaker. Natal shoots in for a takedown but it is not there. High kick partially lands for Robert. Natal with three leg kicks in a row. Robert’s lead leg is bruised up. Another kick from Natal. Whittaker is looking to land an overhand left. Natal with another leg kick and another. High kick attempt from Robert. Natal lands a right hook. Good front kick to the body from Whittaker. He lands a big right hand and then just misses with a left hook. Natal with a good front kick. Robert makes him eat a jab. Natal with another good leg kick. Whittaker with a big overhand left. Both fighters are bleeding. Good front kick to the thigh from Robert. Natal with a leg kick. Whittaker responds with one of his own. Natal circles and lands a front kick. Whittaker just misses with a high kick. Round two comes to an end.
Round three begins and Natal opens up with a leg kick. Whittaker moves forward with front kicks. He lands a nice left hand on Natal. Rafael with a right hand and then a leg kick. Whittaker with two nice kicks in a row. He tags Natal with a left hand. The fighters exchange some good shots. It is anyone’s fight at the moment. Nice kick from Natal but Whittaker lands a huge shot that drops him. He gets back to his feet and the fighter throw until the final horn.
Robert Whittaker defeats Rafael Natal via decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)