The UFC Fight Island 3 featured matchup just saw the #5 ranked middleweight, Darren Till, and the former middleweight champ, Robert Whittaker, go the distance in a highly technical striking battle. Both men scored knockdowns in their high stakes game of human chess, but the end of the day, it was Whittaker who walked away with three scores of 48-47. The former champ finds himself back in the win column since losing his belt, and holds on to his position as the UFC’s #1 ranked middleweight.
Till pressed forward right away, and Whittaker kept meeting him with counter punches. They collided into each other and Till clipped Whittaker with an elbow that sent him to the floor. Whittaker stood back up and Till brought more pressure. Till began to tag up the former champ, but the pace slowed down after a clinch exchange.
Whittaker scored some pretty counter punches early in the second act. He exploded on Till with a flurry that dropped him down to the floor. Whittaker took top position and dropped some vicious elbows. Till worked back to his feet but Whittaker was still firing off counter strikes.
Whittaker opened up the third round with some lead calf kicks, causing redness around the point of impact. The chess match continued with both men tactically picking their shots. Till landed the biggest blow of the round with a slick knee to the body. Whittaker went for a couple of takedowns but didn’t put much effort not completing them.
Till told his corner between rounds that he couldn’t bounce on his lead leg. His corner talked him through it and he came out for the fourth frame. Whittaker stuck with his effective calf kicks, and a ton of feints were being thrown back and forth. Just before the midpoint of the round, Till connected flush with a set of well-placed punches, to which Whittaker wore without issue.
Whittaker opened the final round with a violent flurry, followed by a takedown attempt. Till responded with straight punches of his own, but they came at a premium. Both men stayed calculated, not wanting to throw a bunch of volume and over-expose themselves to counter strikes. Till connected with another elbow on the inside, cutting open Whittaker around the ear. Whittaker responded with a series of takedowns, but couldn’t keep Till on the ground.
Robert Whittaker def. Darren Till by unanimous decision (48-47 x3): Middleweight
Till is tee-ing off in RD 4! #InAbuDhabi | @VisitAbuDhabi| #UFCFightIsland3 pic.twitter.com/Yw094YVawl
— UFC (@ufc) July 26, 2020
ROCKET! @RobWhittakerMMA has Till stunned in RD 2.#InAbuDhabi | @VisitAbuDhabi| #UFCFightIsland3 pic.twitter.com/Xwy5RRDdkY
— UFC (@ufc) July 26, 2020
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