Uriah Hall's fights always have explosive potential. But they don't always deliver on the promise.
Whittaker, the former "TUF: Nations" winner from New Zealand, earned the victory at Melbourne's Etihad Stadium, getting the unanimous decision on scores of 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28.
The first round turned on a missed tornado kick by Hall, which left him open for an easy takedown. Whittaker worked over the grounded Hall for most of the rest of the round.
The second, mostly in the standup, was Whittaker's as well. The round was punctuated by an odd timeout, what the referee believed to be a Whittaker eye poke on Hall, but turned out to be a closed-fist punch.
In the third, Hall, who replaced an injured Michael Bisping and took his third fight in 98 days, started to open up with the flashy strikes which have become his calling card. But he needed a finish and didn't get it.
Whittaker (15-4) scored his fourth straight win.
"You see the fight so much in your head and you prepare for it as much as you can, but, who can mimic him?" Whittaker said of Hall. "No adjustments. The usual game plan, throw punches, that seemed to work."