Despite tonight’s loss to Robert Whittaker, Darren Till is still confident that he has what it takes to defeat reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya.
The Liverpool native squared off with Whittaker in the headliner of tonight’s UFC Fight Island 3 event in Abu Dhabi.
The bout marked Till’s second at middleweight, this after he defeated Kelvin Gastelum in his divisional debut this past November.
As for Robert Whittaker, tonight’s contest with Till marked his first appearance since surrendering the middleweight title to the aforementioned Israel Adesanya at UFC 243.
Tonight’s highly anticipated UFC Fight Island 3 headliner proved to be a back and forth affair. Till won the bouts opening round after dropping the former champ with a standing elbow. However, Robert Whittaker stormed back in round two and after a pair of closely contested rounds three and four, the bout seemed to be all tied up heading into round five.
In the fifth and final frame it was Robert Whittaker who landed two late takedowns which appeared to secure him with a victory over Darren Till. The judges in attendance agreed and handed ‘The Reaper’ a unanimous decision victory 48-47 on all three scorecards.
Despite losing to Whittaker, who had previously lost to Israel Adesanya, Darren Till remains confident that he would fair well against the UFC’s reigning middleweight champion.
“Haha, another good friend.” Till responded after hearing of Adesanya’s post-fight tweet. “I’m going to have to layoff direct messaging him for a while. All I do is scream in the videos to him and the Instagram messages. But, I’ve got a lot of respect for this lad. I think he’s a great fighter. You know what, this is no disrespect to him, but I think he’s probably an easier fight for me than Rob because we both.. we’d probably have a great striking battle. Rob’s a bit different because he mixes it up. Israel is a great MMA fighter but he’s a pure striker. I think we’d have a great fight. Rob mixed it up a little bit and he’s wild. He’s wilder than me. He will lunge with his head and time off it. He caught me with some cracking shots and I was just eating them for breakfast.”
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This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on July 26, 2020