Dubai: Top middleweight contenders Robert Whittaker and Darren Till put on a dazzling show as the UFC’s Fight Island series ended with a bang in Abu Dhabi on Sunday morning.
Both fighters brought their ‘A’ games to the Octagon and even scored respective knock-downs. However, it was the former champion Whittaker who went home the winner after securing a unanimous 48-47, 48-47, 48-47 decision victory.
Whittaker, who was born in New Zealand but lives in Australian was fighting for the first time since losing the middleweight title fight to Israel Adesanya.
“I tell you what, that fight was so stressful,” said a bloodied Whittaker said after the fight. “Honestly, I hope the fans and everybody can appreciate it because that, to me, was one of my most technical fights. I had to really adapt on the go. Honestly, I want to go home to my babies and my wife.”
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Meanwhile, Mauricio Rua maintained his dominance over arch rival Rogerio Nogueira in the pair’s third meeting with a split decision, 29-28, 28-29, 29-28, victory.
There were also big wins for UFC veterans Fabricio Werdum, who submitted Alexander Gustafsson in the very first-round with an armbar, while inaugural champion Carla Esparza fought intelligently for a 28-29, 29-28, 30-27 split decision victory over the previously unbeaten up-and-comer Marina Rodriguez.
UFC Fight Night
Robert Whittaker def. Darren Till via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
Mauricio Rua def. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Fabricio Werdum def. Alexander Gustafsson via first-round submission
Carla Esparza def. Marina Rodriguez via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Paul Craig def. Gadzhimurad Antigulov via first-round submission
Alex Oliveira def. Peter Sobotta via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Khamzat Chimaev def. Rhys McKee via first-round TKO
Francisco Trinaldo def. Jai Herbert via third-round TKO
Jesse Ronson def. Nicolas Dalby via first-round submission
Tom Aspinall def. Jake Collier via first-round TKO
Movsar Evloev def. Mike Grundy via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Tanner Boser def. Raphael Pessoa via second-round TKO
Pannie Kianzad def. Bethe Correia via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Ramazan Emeev def. Niklas Stolze via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Nathaniel Wood def. John Castaneda via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)