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Fight Night Melbourne fantasy rewind


The latest UFC card in Australia was capped off by one of the most frantically paced opening rounds in history, with Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson combining to throw 108 strikes in just over four minutes before the fight came to an end.

Following a hard charging attack from Brunson that saw him winging wild punches, Whittaker countered with a precise striking attack that ultimately earned him the victory.

While Brunson did his best to overwhelm the New Zealand native, it was Whittaker's ability to avoid damage, pick his spots and counter the overly aggressive offense from his opponent that led to the end of the fight. Whittaker cracked Brunson with a counterpunch before landing a head kick that precipitated the end of the fight, which gave him six straight wins overall and five consecutive victories in the middleweight division.

Heading into the night, Whittaker was actually a slight underdog according to fantasy players, with 44 percent picking him to win. The good news was that 66 percent predicted Whittaker would get the victory by knockout and that's exactly what he did with a spectacular first round finish.

While Whittaker's win was dubbed an upset, nothing could account for the co-main event, where Andrew Holbrook stepped into his fight with Jake Matthews as a massive underdog - only 14 percent of players picked him going into the night - and he came away with a split decision victory. 45 percent of those players did have Holbrook winning by decision, so those points were definitely valuable when the night was over.

Omari Akhemdov picked up an impressive victory over former teammate Kyle Noke on Saturday night after 58 percent of fantasy players predicted him to come away victorious. The same could be said for UFC newcomer Alexander Volkanovski, who had 53 percent of players on his side going into his debut bout against Yusuke Kasuya.

Volkanovski also earned the players who picked him an additional 40 points thanks to that win coming in his first trip to the UFC Octagon.

Another debuting fighter also came away with a big win in Australia, as local favorite Tyson Pedro submitted former Ultimate Fighter competitor Khalil Rountree with a first round rear naked choke. Pedro was a huge underdog going into the fight, with only 22 percent of players picking him, and another 45 percent saying he would win by submission.

While the oddsmakers had Danielle Taylor as an underdog in her fight with Seohee Ham, fantasy players felt otherwise, with a whopping 63 percent picking her to get the win. Taylor got the nod by split decision after a three round war against the crafty UFC veteran.

In the prelims, ageless wonder Daniel Kelly kept his recent win streak alive as he defeated Chris Camozzi in a bloody three round war in the middleweight division. Only 23 percent of players picked Kelly going into the night, but the former Olympian made good with a hard fought victory for his third win in a row and fifth overall in the UFC.

And the upsets kept coming in the prelims, Damien Brown pulled out a stunner against Jon Tuck after just 33 percent of players had him getting the win. Jason Knight also picked up an impressive victory over Dan Hooker with just 36 percent of players predicting he would get the win in the featured bout on UFC FIGHT PASS.

While the underdogs made a good showing in Australia, there were still plenty of favorites who got wins as well.

Jonathan Meunier got a win over local fighter Richard Walsh, with 53 percent of selecting him to come away victorious, while Ben Nguyen looked very good over three rounds as he defeated Geane Herrera with 65 percent of players on his side.

The heaviest favorite to get a win on the prelims was former Ultimate Fighter Latin America competitor Marlon Vera, as he had 72 percent of players picking him to defeat Ning Guangyou and another 58 percent predicting he'd get the job done by decision.

Altogether, seven favorites got the win according to the picks by fantasy players, while six underdogs were able to shake things up with victories in Australia.