A refreshed Robert Whittaker just needed to take a break from MMA to find his love for it again. The former UFC Middleweight Champion wanted to prove on the last “Fight Island” event that he’s still dangerous in the division. He was able to prove that, and then some.
On Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, Whittaker (21-5) beat Darren Till (18-3-1) via unanimous decision 48-47, 48-47, 48-47.
— UFC (@ufc) July 26, 2020
The bout between the two was expected to be a battle as Whittaker and Till proclaimed “war” during the weigh-ins. Till started things off with no music as he made his way to the octagon, adding to the vibe of the night. He would also start off the action with a jumping shot but Whittaker would counter with a jab.
A theme was Whittaker looking relaxed through the bout. He hit an overhand shot and a high knee. Till, however, would land a stiff shot that put Whittaker down to the floor. A ground and pound game was denied by Whittaker before an elbow shot by Till landed. Whittaker would hit counter shots and elbows as the round ended.
Round two would see Whittaker take a clear advantage, as he had 40 strikes in the round alone compared to Till’s five. Whittaker would hit left hooks, overhand counter shots, and rights. Till would utilize leg kicks, but Whittaker would cause the former’s legs to turn black and blue with kicks of his own. It ended up being a big factor in the fight as Till was not able to move properly. Whittaker would continue his striking in round three with uppercuts and a few more straight hooks.
— UFC (@ufc) July 26, 2020
Whittaker would start round four with a jumping jab and would focus on hitting leg kicks. Fainting to see where Till was moving was key. Till, however, would land big elbows and shots from the inside. Whittaker would do the same and would push Till up by the cage. It appeared that Till’s corner knew he may have been in trouble, as they were screaming for him to do more.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) July 26, 2020
Till would listen by landing multiple jabs. When there was a break, Whittaker would hit a big jab. He threw his arm over Till’s shoulder, getting a takedown. An elbow by Till had Whittaker bleeding by the ear, but even after a small break by Herb Dean, the fight went on. Whittaker hit two takedowns and a few knees before the round and fight came to a close.
In total, Whittaker landed 105 total strikes compared to Till’s 48.
After losing the UFC Middleweight Title to Israel Adesanya back in October, Whittaker’s journey back was a long one. He is now 4-1 since the start of 2017. As for what is next for him, Whittaker is just focusing on his family for now.
Till is 1-3 in his last four fights, and 1-1 since moving to the UFC’s middleweight division.