Former Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes winner Robert Whittaker continues to push towards the upper-echelon in the middleweight division.
Whittaker remained unbeaten at 185 pounds, earning a decision win over Rafael Natal Saturday night at UFC 197.
The win, his fifth in a row overall, will likely cost Whittaker some extended time on the sidelines after he mentioned hand an leg injuries suffered during the 15-minute battle.
“I hurt (my hand) in the first round, but didn’t say anything (until before the third),” he said. “(Natal) has a hard head.
“He is a tough and rugged dude; I knew I would have a war on my hands.”
The 25-year-old Whittaker (16-4) has now bested Natal, Uriah Hall, Brad Tavares and Clint Hester at middleweight, along with Mike Rhodes in 2014 before his change in weight divisions. He won 11 of his first 13, falling to Stephen Thompson and Court McGee in back-to-back fights.
Natal (21-7-1) had his four-fight win streak snapped with the loss.