It was another battle of 'The Ultimate Fighter' veterans at UFC Fight Night 27. This time, though, it was the winners of their individual seasons from the U.S. in Court McGee and Australia in Robert Whittaker. On this night in Indianapolis, it would be the American who prevailed.
In the first round, it was largely a close affair. McGee pressured with motion both on his feet and upperbody, throwing a high volume of strikes and even scoring one takedown from a modified cradle-half nelson position on Whittaker against the fence. The Australian was able to land the best strike of the frame, a sneaky left hook as McGee closed the distance that momentarily buckled the American's knees.
McGee did much better, much earlier in the second, however. A monster right hook connected on the stout chin of Whittaker and while the Australian survived, it slowed him briefly and allowed McGee to scored a tight mat return-esque takedown on the hurt opponent. Whittaker would turn things around toward the end of the frame, scoring with multiple standing elbows in space as well as his jab.
By the third frame, McGee would keep the pressure on, walking Whittaker down and trying to first in offensive exchanges as well as taking center of the Octagon. Whittaker, however, wouldn't back down, landing left hooks and elbows of his own throughout the majority of the middle minutes of the round. From there, both fighters continued to do what they did well, McGee moving Whittaker back with his combinations while the Australian tried to sneak through damaging shots.
The judges awarded the bout to McGee via split decision: 30-27 Whittaker, 30-27, McGee and 29-28 McGee.