The bout between the former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and the former challenger in the welterweight division, Darren Till, could easily give us the name of the next title contestant and an opponent to the better from Adesanya vs. Costa fight. These two guys are featuring the headliner of the UFC on ESPN 14 event held at Fight Island.
Whittaker (-130) suffered a nasty knockout to Israel Adesanya in October last year, once these two guys met in Melbourne to decide who is the best middleweight fighter at that moment. Some believe that the loss came because of a short recovery period following Whittaker’s tough fight against Yoel Romero, which he won via split decision.
Nevertheless, this was an unpleasant experience, because Whittaker (20-5 MMA, 11-3 UFC) not only gave up the belt, but also, disappointed his fans back home, who then got a new local hero.
Before that match, he had nine straight victories, among which two were against Romero, one against Jacare Souza, Derek Brunson, Rafael Natal, Uriah Hall, and Brad Tavares etc.
His style of fight includes solid defense, both when attacking or being attacked. He had some time to erase the mistakes committed against Adesanya, and what is more important to heal his body, after a few tough years in the UFC. According to Whittaker’s words, he is not hungrier than ever and ready to once again fully focus on the octagon and nothing more.
Till (+100) was solid in the welterweight division for one period, and that gave him a chance to fight for the title, against Tyron Woodley back at the UFC 228. The Gorilla would lose then via second-round stoppage, and a submission. In the next fight, Jorge Masvidal KOd him in London, in front of his own fans, notifying Till (18-2-1 MMA, 6-2-1 UFC) that it is time to go back to his original division.
The Englishman did that, setting up a clash with Kelvin Gastelum in November last year, which he won via split decision. We need to say that in all three events mentioned, Till looked pretty pale and struggling.
For a guy with mediocre (no disrespect to Till at all) abilities for the UFC, he receives too much attention, and this would be the fourth event in which he appears in the headliner. He is a good kickboxer, but a bad wrestler whos judgments in the ring are highly questionable.
We will go with Whittaker here, because he is a much better fighter, with more tough battles in his CV. After all, the guy from Australia/New Zealand was a champion, while on the other side, Till used to be a very poor challenger.
Whittaker’s mindset for this one is totally different than Till’s. He is eager to get back into the ring and to reclaim the throne lost against Adesanya, and Till is just one step towards it. On the other side, the Englishman is trying to avoid another loss here and to be honest, the chances for that are pretty low.
The former champ will try to take down Till, whose ground fight is poor, and even if he manages to get away and stand up, the Gorilla will be brought to the canvas repeatedly although the Kiwi isn’t such a great wrestler. And at one point, Whittaker will get his chance to hurt Till.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.