THE Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) capped its successful hosting of events on the “UFC Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Sunday, with former middleweight champion Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker among the winners.
Australian Whittaker (21-5), who lost his UFC title in his previous fight in October last year, made it a successful return to the Octagon by beating fast-rising contender Darren “The Gorilla” Till (18-3-1) from England by unanimous decision, 48-47, 48-47 and 48-47, in their headlining UFC Fight Night battle.
Also emerging victorious were light heavyweight Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, heavyweight Fabricio “Val Cavalo” Werdum and women’s strawweight Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza.
Referee Herb Dean briefly stopped the action late in the round after a cut opened Mr. Whittaker’s ear.
Despite bleeding heavily from the cut, Mr. Whittaker continued to fight and hung on for the UD victory.
“It was a stressful fight. I hope the fans liked it because it was one of the most technical fights I have been part of. It showed both fighters’ strengths,” said Mr. Whittaker after the fight.
Meanwhile, Brazilian Rua (27-11-1) made it 3-0 over compatriot Antonio “Lil Nog” Nogueira in their overall matchups with a split decision win, 29-28, 28-29 and 29-28.
In their previous two fights in 2015 and 2005, Mr. Rua was a winner both times by unanimous decision.