UFC 290: Volkanovski vs. Rodriguez took place July 8 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker (24-7) collided against Dricus Du Plessis (20-2) in a No. 1 contender’s bout on the main card. The fight aired live on ESPN+ pay-per-view.
Catch the video highlights below.
For more on Whittaker vs. Du Plessis, check out the live blog by MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew.
Round 1: Whittaker out in orthodox, DDP in southpaw. Whittaker with his karate stance, bouncing. And we exchange punches early. Nothing lands.
Both men taking the lead, and moving around. Lots of feints and looks early. Whittaker lands a low kick. He’s keeping a very long range and DDP can’t get in.
Whittaker lands a jab and a right. DDP covers up, and he’s starting to hesitate. Whittaker showing angles. Whittaker comes in behind a jab and tags DDP. Jab is money.
DDP cannot find the range through 2 minutes. Whittaker finding single shot sin moments. And as DDP throws a kick, Whittaker drives in on a double and gets a takedown. DDP grabs a guillotine but Whittaker steps over. DDP against the fence though and he stands up. Back in space.
Whittaker has a clear speed advantage. Whittaker lands a big right hand over the top from a failed DDP right hook. DDP cannot walk Whittaker down and Whittaker keeps tagging him with the jab and with kicks, and hooks.
DDP finally finds a shot, landing a big right hand and a left, but Whittaker eats it well. DDP coming forward and lands a knee up the middle. And a low kick. He’s starting to get in some now. Lands a right hand. And a body kick. Calf kick.
DDP is adjusting and Whittaker clinches but DDP lands a trip and gets on top! Whittaker trying to move but DDP lands a nice elbow from the top and Whittaker is cut. Whittaker gets guard but DDP staying on top and passes to side control. DDP attacking a d’arce! Whittaker covers up and DDP lands a BIG elbow! Whittaker is bleeding as DDP lands big shots to end the round! What a turnaround!
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 DDP.
Round 2: DDP talked a lot about his physicality and it showed there. Whittaker was not able to do much off the back. Can DDP get another takedown though? If so he may win the fight.
DDP does appear to be in good shape. No heavy breathing. And DDP lands a low kick. Whittaker goes for his right hand, head kick combo but it’s blocked.
DDP lands a left hook that gets Whittaker’s attention. Right hand from Whittaker. Whittaker upping his output early this round, looking for some get back. DDP lands a good jab and a left. Whittaker backs him up with a right. DDP’s defense has been much improved this fight, must be said. Whittaker misses a high kick. DDP lands a body kick.
Whittaker lands a left hook as DDP steps in. And a low kick. Whittaker showing some good feints when DDP comes in, creating openings. OH RIGHT HAND HURTS WHITTAKER!!!!!!!
HE FALLS TO THE MAT! HE’S UP BUT IN TROUBLE!!! DDP POURING IT ON!!!!! WHITTAKER COVERING UP ALONG THE CAAGE!!!!!! AND IT’S OVER!!!!!!!! OH MY GOD
Dricus du Plessis def. Robert Whittaker by TKO (punches) at 2:23 of Round 2.