UFC Fight Night results, highlights: Robert Whittaker makes decision over Darren Till in tactical case

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UFC’s time at Fight Island ended with a vivid tactical battle between top middleweight contenders Robert Whittaker and Darren Till. Whittaker, who is fighting for the first time since losing the middleweight championship to Israel Adesanya, survived an early scare to secure a unanimous decision victory and return to the winning column.At the start of the first round, Till caught Whittaker rushing forward, cracking him with a short elbow and dropping the former champion to the canvas. Till tried to go for the finish, but Whittaker recovered well and used the threat of over-wing rights to keep Till from squeezing the early advantage.

In the second round, Whittaker scored his own knockdown, bombarding Till with a savage forehand and planting him on the canvas. Whittaker took the opportunity to land heavy punches to the ground and kicks, swelling Till’s face and drawing blood from his nose.

With both men scoring knockdowns, the fight settled into a pattern dominated by Whittaker’s feints and leg kicks. The pair chose their places to go wild with big punches, overhand rights from Whittaker and elbows and left hooks from Till. Whittaker was the busiest fighter in the middle rounds, building up a lead on the scorecards that would ultimately be the deciding factor in the result.

“I’m telling you what, that fight was so stressful,” Whittaker said after the fight. “Honestly, I hope the fans and everyone can enjoy it because for me it was one of my more technical fights. … I had to really adapt on the move. ”

Till finished the fight with a solid fifth round, scoring the most important strikes of the pair. Whittaker was left with a nasty gash on the side of his head circling, the product of another counter Till elbow. But it was too little, too late for the relief, the three judges scoring the fight for Whittaker by scores of 48-47.

Pressed after the fight if he wanted to return to work and catch up with Adesanya for the middleweight title, Whittaker said, “Honestly, I want to come home with my babies and my wife. He also said his main focus would be to help his teammates prepare for their next fights, a change in focus for Whittaker, who had admitted to battling burnout after losing his championship last October.

CBS Sports was with you all night to provide you with updates, information and analysis throughout the main map. You can see the full results, highlights, and recaps of the action below.

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Map and results of the UFC Fight Night

  • Robert Whittaker beats. Darren Till via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
  • Mauricio Rua beats. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Fabricio Werdum def. Alexander Gustafsson via first round submission (armbar)
  • Carla Esparza beats. Marina Rodriguez by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
  • Paul Craig beats. Gadzhimurad Antigulov via first round submission (triangular choke)
  • Alex Oliveira beats. Peter Sobotta via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Khamzat Chimaev defeats. Rhys McKee via First Round TKO (Punching)
  • Francisco Trinaldo beats. Jai Herbert via TKO in round three (punches)
  • Jesse Ronson beats. Nicolas Dalby via submission in the first round (bare rear choke)
  • Tom Aspinall beats. Jake Collier via TKO in the first round (punches)
  • Movsar Evloev beats. Mike Grundy via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Tanner Boser beats. Raphael Pessoa via TKO in the second round (punches)
  • Pannie Kianzad beats. Bethe Correia via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Ramazan Emeev beats. Niklas Stolze via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Nathaniel Wood defeats. John Castaneda via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

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