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UFC Fight Island: Whittaker vs. Till - Main Fights Preview

It's time for the third UFC event on Ilha da Luta, located in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. UFC Fight Island 3 brings a very interesting card with fights that promise a good level for fight fans. In the main event of the night, former welterweight champion Robert Whittaker faces former welterweight challenger Darren Till.

In the joint fight of the night, the Brazilian trilogy arrives to put an end to the career of one of the best known names in the sport. Rogério Minotouro enters the octagon for the last time to face Maurício Shogun in a third clash between the two.

Other highlights of the event are for former heavyweight champion  Fabricio Werdum , who will make the final fight of his contract with the organization to face former light heavyweight challenger  Alexander Gustafsson . Finally, former straw champion  Carla Esparza faces Brazilian  Marina Rodriguez .


Once a mediocre welterweight, Robert Whittaker (20-5 in MMA, 11-3 in the UFC) moved up to the middleweight to become a champion. After the chair dance caused by Michael Bisping in the category, the Australian asserted himself as the legitimate champion of the category by winning two incredible battles against the monstrous Yoel Romero - this after knocking out Ronaldo Jacaré.

Based on karate, “Bobby Knuckles” is a handful changer. His kickboxing is beautiful, with great combinations of punches and kicks from all angles, great ability to explore the gaps left by opponents and an excellent ability to strike while walking backwards. Whittaker is fast for the category and shines in long combinations of strokes in the short distance, besides knowing how to use the feints to open breaches where he can strike. The movement to enter hitting and exiting without being hit is also striking, as is the brilliant defense of falls. Attention to the Australian's left-handed deadly cross, which generates a lot of power in the short distance and can cause problems for Till.

Darren Till (18-2-1 in MMA, 6-2-1 in the UFC) had a meteoric rise within the UFC. The Briton, who built a good part of his career training and living in Brazil, had his biggest victory so far by knocking out veteran Donald Cerrone in a brilliant performance. Then, it was raised to a main fight against the ex-challenger Stephen Thompson, winning in another beautiful exhibition. The victory accredited the 25-year-old to a title dispute, in which he was dominated by Tyron Woodley. In the following fight, a brutal knockout for Jorge Masvidal made Till rise to the middleweight division, where he defeated challenger Kelvin Gastelum, in his last fight.

Nicknamed "Gorilla", the British charismatic is huge and strong for the category, which favors his pressure game. Till has a solid movement that he uses to corner opponents, trying to attack him so that he can counterpunch. In the short distance, he uses violent combinations involving punches, knees and elbows - all with a lot of power. Away, Darren manages to keep his distance with good low kicks and longer punches. Its main weapons are the high left kick, the direct with the back hand and an elbow while closing the distance. In addition, the times training with Marcelo Brigadeiro provided a good base in the free fight, and the Englishman has a lot of strength in the clinch , good falls, when necessary and a very powerful ground and pound .

His weakness is mainly in exposing himself a lot when striking, precisely by applying too much force to the strikes, which can be a huge problem for Saturday's fight.
Saturday's main event is a full plate for striking fans, as it confronts two of the most talented and technical fighters in the standing fight in the UFC. It is a delight to be able to see both in the same category and still at their peak fighting for five rounds. The result is difficult to predict, but we can expect beautiful exchanges of blows in the center of the octagon and both having good times. In the end, I believe that their style favors Whittaker, with his ability to counterattack by walking backwards and finding loopholes in the chaos. So we bet on a victory for the Australian by late technical knockout or decision in a very lively confrontation.