Rob Whittaker is back in the winner’s circle after defeating Darren Till at UFC Fight Island 3 in Abu Dhabi in a thrilling middleweight contest.
The former champion rallied back after getting dropped in the first round to win a unanimous decision (48-47,48-47,48-47).
Till had Whittaker stunned with an elbow in the first round, but Whittaker managed to stay composed enough to take control of the fight, mixing up his wrestling and hurting Till’s lead leg.
It was nail-biting stuff as both fighters threw heavy shots, missing by what seemed like mere inches.
“I tell you what, that fight was so stressful,” Whittaker said post-fight. “Honestly, I hope the fans and everybody can appreciate it.
“That for me was one of the most technical fights I’ve ever had to fight.”
— Fight News Australia (@fightnewsaus) July 26, 2020
It was Whittaker’s first fight since losing the middleweight title to Israel Adesanya in October of last year. Before dropping the title, Whittaker won nine fights straight in the middleweight division, on his way to becoming Australia’s first-ever UFC champion.
Injuries and illness had plagued Whittaker during his title reign, with the former champion admitting to burning out after he lost the middleweight belt.
None of that appeared to phase Whittaker today in a remarkable performance where he got to display the many tools he has in his MMA arsenal.
The win from Whittaker is his 10th in 11 fights and puts him right back into the title picture.
The middleweight title is set to be defended by Israel Adesanya against Paulo Costa in September.