'Hell of a fight': Robert Whittaker stakes title claim on Fight Island

Riley Morgan
·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
Robert Whittaker celebrates after the fight against and Darren Till.
Robert Whittaker and Darren Till react after the conclusion of their middleweight fight. (Getty Images)

Aussie and No.1 contender Robert Whittaker returned to the octagon for the first time since losing the middleweight belt to Israel Adesanya and proved why he should be next in line for a shot.

Whittaker, the former middleweight champion faced Darren Till in an important middleweight bout in the finale on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi.

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Whittaker returned against Darren Till in the co-main event against Darren Till and was dropped in the first round after a brutal elbow to the face.

But the Aussie jumped straight back up and upped his pressure and racked up the points in a technical fight.

Till cut Whittaker behind the ear in the last round, with blood pouring down his body, but it wasn’t enough after the Aussie took it 48-47.

Fans couldn’t get enough of the back-and-forth battle and how well Whittaker returned after a lengthy lay-off.

Whittaker admits he needed rest

Whittaker recently admitted he needed a break after the Adesanya fight.

“You just get to a point where you aren’t able to do it anymore,” Whittaker said.

“I was working all the time, away from my family so much. It was just push, push, push, push. Before I took the break, it was definitely like a slog.

“It was so difficult. I was dragging my feet in everything I did. I got to where I just couldn’t go on.”

Following the fight, Whittaker said his approach to MMA has changed and he is enjoying the sport again.

“I am enjoying it again, just that step away from the gyms, it was beautiful for my mental state,” he added.