According to a report from ESPN, the UFC is targeting a middleweight bout between former champ Robert Whittaker and rising contender Darren Till as the main event for UFC Dublin on August 15.
ESPN’s report specified that the bout is not yet official, but is in the process of being finalized.
Darren Till has not fought since November, when he debuted in the UFC middleweight division with a decision triumph over former interim title challenger Kelvin Gastelum. Prior to that, Till was competing in the UFC welterweight division, where he picked up wins over the likes of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson before coming up short in a title fight with Tyron Woodley and another fight with Jorge Masvidal. The Brit, who hails from Liverpool, is 18-2-1 overall.
Australia’s Robert Whittaker, meanwhile, is 20-5 overall, and has not fought since he surrendered the UFC middleweight title to Israel Adesanya in October. Prior to that, he was riding consecutive wins over Yoel Romero — both of which were absolute wars. The former champion was briefly expected to return to the cage against Jared Cannonier at UFC 248, but was forced out of the planned bout due to personal issues. It’s still not clear what kind of personal issues he was dealing with, but if UFC President Dana White’s comments on the matter were any indication, they were serious.
“Let me put it to you this way,” White told Submission Radio when asked why Whittaker withdrew from UFC 248. “That’s personal for Whittaker. If Whittaker wants to talk about that, he can, but I’ll tell you this, when you talk about somebody whose priorities are in the right place, who is completely selfless and down to the core a good human being, that’s Robert Whittaker.
“The reason Robert Whittaker is not fighting in this fight is one of the most unselfish things I’ve seen in my life. He’s a good man, he’s a good human being, and I have a lot of respect for him. Good luck to him in what he’s dealing with right now. I can’t put into words and articulate how I feel about Robert Whittaker. He’s the real deal, man.”
Who do you think will come out on top in this targeted fight between Robert Whittaker and Darren Till?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/11/2020.