Robert Whittaker punches Darren Till during their middlewweight championship fight of the UFC 251 event at Fight Island in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker bounced back to defeat Darren Till Sunday as UFC's first "Fight Island" drew to a successful close in Abu Dhabi.
"My brain is on overload," Whittaker said after throwing everything at England's Till in unanimous points win, with all three judges scoring 48-47 for the Australian.
"That fight was so stressful," Whittaker added. "I hope the fans and everybody can appreciate it because that was one of the most technical fights I've ever had."
“Honestly, I feel over the world. There was a lot of stress, a lot of pressure, a lot of thoughts going into this fight. My team was stressed, a lot of pressure, a lot of pressure. The world is crazy at the moment, so to be able to walk away with a win just means the world to me. Over the moon, over the moon, I feel amazing.
“He definitely surprised me with his stubbornness to the game plan, he just would not commit to any strikes and just sat back and waited for me. Honestly, he almost got me in that first, it was a hard go, it was a hard, hard go. I guess that was one of the most technical fights I’ve ever had, to be able to share the Octagon with him was a privilege.”
Whittaker's win brought the curtain down on the Ultimate Fighting Championship's successful excursion to Abu Dhabi.
The 26 square kilometre Yas Island resort complex was sealed off as the Las Vegas-based UFC shielded its fighters from the coronavirus pandemic.
Around 2,500 staff and fighters set up camp under strict bio-secure protocols with constant testing for COVID-19 before, during and after arrival and then regular follow-up checks throughout.
Those who tested positive for coronavirus were excluded, with the biggest casualty being Brazilian Gilbert Burns, who lost his shot at Nigerian-American UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman two weeks ago as a result.
The 29-year-old Whittaker (22-5) said before the contest that the only thing that worried him was Till's powerful left fist, a weapon that had given the man from Liverpool 10 knockout victories in an 18-2-1 record coming into the fight.
But it was a left elbow from Till (18-3-1) instead that put the Aussie on the floor in the first.Agence France-Presse
It promises to be a stellar series that only elevates Abu Dhabi’s standing as the ideal destination for world-class sports events.
Jack Hermansson also stunned Kelvin Gastelum with a first-round submission by heel hook in the penultimate bout of the third UFC show in eight days from Fight Island, the UFC's base of operations on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
Under the new partnership between the Abu Dhabi Sports Council and du La Liga High Performance Centre, 2 players from each of the four clubs Al Jazira, Al Wahda, Baniyas, Al Dhafra and Al Ain will join the du LaLiga HPC summer programme.
Austrian fourth seed Dominic Thiem rallied from a set down to battle past Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics into the third round of the Italian Open on Wednesday. US Open champion Thiem, a semi-finalist in Madrid last week, won 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-0 in 2hr 33min against
Arab and Muslim footballers have been expressing support for Palestinians in recent days, including on social media, amid clashes between Israeli security forces and protesters in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem. “The world needs peace and love. It will soon be Eid,
Lionel Messi scored a brilliant volley but Barcelona’s title hopes could be over, with a 3-3 draw away at Levante on Tuesday giving Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid the chance to pull away at the top of La Liga. Another slip could prove decisive given Atletico will
Caleb Ewan won the fifth stage of the Giro d’Italia on Wednesday in a sprint finish as Italy’s Alessandro De Marchi kept hold of the overall lead and one of the favourites Mikel Landa crashed out. Lotto-Soudal’s Ewan overtook Giacomo Nizzolo to triumph in the