The remaining match on the Flash Forum in Abu Dhabi was once a stacked one. Former champions and challengers have been combating every different with enthusiasts excited for the match-ups. The major match was once between former UFC Middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and Darren Till. MMA legend Antônio Rogério Nogueira was once combating for the remaining time in the UFC and took on former gentle heavyweight champion Shogun Rua. Meanwhile, former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum was once dealing with the returning Alexander ‘The Mauler’ Gustafsson. It had all of the substances for a nice combat card.
Till had a probability to stake his declare for a probability on the middleweight name with a win over Whittaker. He had moved up from welterweight after his defeat to Jorge Masvidal and was once taking a look to proceed his ascent to the highest after it was once halted remaining 12 months. But Whittaker was once an excessive amount of to take for Till.
‘The Reaper’ engaged in a technical combat with Till and in the end emerged victorious with a unanimous resolution in the remaining of 4 UFC presentations in two weeks from the blended martial arts promotion’s fan-free bubble in the Middle East. Till has now misplaced Three of his remaining 4 fights.
The major match was once a messy, technical combat that changed into an encouraging step ahead for Whittaker (21-5), who ended the victory with a smile and a horrifically bloody reduce above his left ear.
Whittaker received his middleweight belt in 2017, however the Australian brawler defended it simply as soon as and overlooked important time with accidents. He misplaced the name remaining October to New Zealand’s Israel Adesanya, and Whittaker then withdrew from a scheduled comeback combat as a result of he felt burned out on MMA.
He didn’t have a very easy go back, however the ex-champ nonetheless treated his matchup with Till (18-3-1), the touted British prospect.
“That fight was so stressful,” Whittaker mentioned. “I hope the fans and everybody can appreciate it. That was one of the most technical fights I’ve ever had to fight. We both knew each other’s strengths. I had to really adapt on the go.”
Till dropped Whittaker with a sneaky elbow in a robust first spherical for the Englishman, however Whittaker knocked down Till in the second one after which harm him with elbows at the flooring. The subsequent 3 rounds weren’t relatively as thrilling, however Whittaker seemed to land extra correct moves whilst combating at his most well-liked distance.
Till nonetheless stuck Whittaker with a overdue shot that opened a main reduce on Whittaker’s head, however all 3 judges scored it 48-47 for Whittaker.
Till was once a few of the UFC’s brightest emerging stars till welterweight champ Tyron Woodley stopped him in September 2018. Till then were given knocked out by way of Jorge Masvidal in London, however rebounded with a slender win over Kelvin Gastelum remaining November.
After coming back from a stoppage because of the coronavirus pandemic with presentations in Florida and Nevada, the UFC has spent July on Yas Island, the preferred Abu Dhabi vacationer vacation spot. The presentations all began earlier than first light to achieve North American audiences.
The UFC has a number of upcoming presentations scheduled for the fitness center on its company campus in Las Vegas, however President Dana White has mentioned he expects to be again at Fight Island later this 12 months, specifically if the pandemic worsens in the U.S.
The 38-year-old Rua (27-11-1) and the 44-year-old Nogueira (23-10) placed on an entertaining efficiency in their 3rd combat in a competition that started 15 years in the past. Rua received all 3 of the ones bouts, however he slightly received this vigorous hanging matchup, triumphing 29-28 on two playing cards.
“I am the happiest man in the world today,” mentioned Rua, who has received 5 of his remaining seven fights. “Every fight, Nogueira has made it hard. I took one more step in my career tonight.”
Nogueira mentioned he most likely will retire after this defeat, even though his reluctance was once visual. The dual brother of fellow UFC veteran Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira has been a professional MMA fighter for 19 years, together with the remaining 11 in the UFC.
“I know I can (still) fight very well, but I think it’s time for the new generation to come,” Nogueira mentioned.
Werdum (24-9-1) earned his first victory since 2017 with an excellent submission of Gustafsson (18-7), the previous gentle heavyweight name contender who in brief retired remaining 12 months.
Werdum turns 43 subsequent week, however the famed jiu-jitsu practitioner took aside Gustafsson at the flooring for an armbar. Gustafsson, who just about beat Jon Jones for the sunshine heavyweight name in 2013, has misplaced 3 directly fights and 5 of 7.
On the undercard, welterweight Khamzat Chimaev set a UFC report together with his 2d victory in best 10 days, completing welterweight Rhys McKee with punches simply 3:09 into the primary spherical.
Chimaev (8-0) made his UFC debut as a middleweight in Abu Dhabi on July 15, preventing John Phillips with a choke in the second one spherical in spite of combating on brief realize in a upper weight magnificence. His 10-day hole between victories is the shortest in UFC historical past for the reason that finish of one-night event pageant, breaking Chas Skelly’s report of 13 days in 2014.
“I can fight (again) after one hour,” Chimaev mentioned with a smile. “Maybe if you give me a minute, if somebody is injured, just tell me. I’m going to smash everybody. … How many fighters in my division? I can smash the whole division. Easy work, easy money.”
(with Associated Press inputs)