UFC 160: What We Learned from Colton Smith vs. Robert Whittaker

Craig Amos@@CAABRMMAFeatured ColumnistMay 25, 2013

May 24, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; UFC welterweight Robert Whittaker (right) squares off with Colton Smith during the weight-in for UFC 160 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Fedyck-USA TODAY Sports

A UFC 160 battle between recent TUF winners Colton Smith and Robert Whittaker went the way of the Aussie, who scored a third-round knockout of his American counterpart after a back-and-forth contest.

It was an impressive win for Whittaker, who moves to 2-0 in the Octagon and an equally disappointing defeat for Smith.

 

What we'll remember about this fight

For many MMA fans who were unimpressed with Smith's conduct as an Ultimate Fighter contestant, this fight will be remembered as something like karma. 

On the Whittaker side of things, this was a big win and should be noted as such. The matchup was a stylistic nightmare for him, but he shut down the grappler and looked terrific on the feet.

 

What we learned about Whittaker

His takedown defense looked sharp, which was key. His stand-up appeared strong after some early hiccups, but we already knew that was his strength.

He looks to have some real promise as he moves forward in the UFC's welterweight division.


What we learned about Smith

He won't be able to cruise to any more victories via the smothering wrestling attack he used to trump Mike Ricci in The Ultimate Fighter finale. His stand-up looked much improved, but it still has some way to go before it's a real weapon.

It was a tough loss for Smith, but if he continues to improve, there was nothing in Saturday night's performance that says he can't be successful.


What's next for Whittaker

I think Jordan Mein would make for a good fight—so would Stephen Thompson. Either would spell fireworks and act as a potential springboard for the victor.

 

What's next for Smith

Papy Abedi springs to mind for some reason. It seems like a reasonable pairing.

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