UFC’s fourth event from “Fight Island” features a main event between former UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker and Darren Till. Follow along for updates on the jam-packed 15-fight card from Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
The article has the latest update at the top of the feed below.
Quick Results – Click a fight to skip to it:
Preliminary Card (5:00PM EDT / 1:00AM GST) (ESPN / TSN 5)
Main Card (8:00PM EDT / 4:00AM GST) (ESPN / TSN 5)
Bout 15: Robert Whittaker (20-5) vs. Darren Till (18-2-1) (Middleweight)
Whittaker Defeats Till After Five Rounds
Former UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker started his campaign back to a title shot in the main event, defeating Darren Till via unanimous decision after five rounds. The fight saw Whittaker win a striking battle that had Till take some rounds on all judge’s scorecards.
The close matchup saw Whittaker out-strike Till, landing a wide array of strikes including lots of calf kicks. Till had his moments as well, dropping Whittaker in the first round and cutting Whittaker late in the fight.
“That fight was so stressful … That was one of the most technical fights I’ve ever had to fight,” said Whittaker in his post-fight interview.
Whittaker lost his middleweight belt in his fight before, dropping it to Israel Adesanya in the Fall.
Bout 14: Mauricio Rua (26-11-1) vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (23-9) (Light Heavyweight)
Rua Wins Trilogy, Retires Nogueira
In the co-main of the evening, Mauricio Rua won the trilogy bout between him and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. The fight was Nogueira’s last MMA fight.
The history between Rua and Nogueira goes far back, as their first meeting came at Pride FC in 2005. Both of their matchups before saw Rua win.
The fight was a close one on the feet with both fighters having their moments. Rua had a bigger variety of strikes, targeting the legs, body and head. Nogueira’s striking throughout was more head-hunting.
Nogueira’s career is a long and impressive one, fighting at a high level of MMA since 2002.
Bout 13: Fabricio Werdum (23-9-1) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (18-6) (Heavyweight)
Werdum Catches Gustafsson Early With Armbar
Alexander Gustafsson lost his debut at heavyweight, submitting to Fabricio Werdum via armbar in the first round. The fight was Gustafsson’s return after a short retirement period.
The finish came early as Werdum was able to take the back of Gustafsson following some resistance. After trying for an armbar for a while Werdum got a tap shortly after extending Gustafsson’s arm.
The win saw Werdum, a former UFC Heavyweight Champion, bounce back from losses to Alexander Volkov and Alexey Oleinik. The losing streak for Gustafsson moved to three-in-a-row.
Bout 12: Carla Esparza (16-6) vs. Marina Rodriguez (12-0-2) (Strawweight)
Esparza Ends Undefeated Record of Rodriguez
The wrestling ability of Carla Esparza ended the undefeated record of Marina Rodriguez. The 15-minute battle ended in a split decision victory for the longtime UFC fighter.
Esparza’s dominance came from her ability to land takedowns throughout the fight, keeping Rodriguez in positions for extended periods of time.
Esparza took damage early, with elbows on the ground for Rodriguez cutting her open and causing major swelling.
“Even off her back her elbows are pretty deadly,” admitted Esparza after the fight.
Esparza is currently ranked seventh in the strawweight division and could move later due to the win.
“Hopefully I’ll be in those [championship] talks pretty soon,” said Esparza afterwards.
Rodriguez had fought four times in the UFC before, winning two fights and going to a draw twice.
Bout 11: Paul Craig (12-4-1) vs. Gadzhimurad Antigulov (20-6) (Light Heavyweight)
Craig Wins With Triangle Choke
Paul Craig got a fast triangle armbar choke win on the main card, submitting Gadzhimurad Antigulov in the first round.
The fight went to the ground after Antigulov got a takedown from a clinch. Craig seemed comfortable from the bottom, being able to slip in a choke from the bottom. While he got the win, Craig took a few punches to the head while Antigulov was in the position.
Craig’s win was his fifth via submission since he joined the UFC in 2016.
The fight was Antigulov’s third-straight loss in the UFC. His last win was at UFC 211 in 2017.
Bout 10: Alex Oliveira (21-8-1) vs. Peter Sobotta (17-6-1) (Welterweight)
Oliveira Gets Decision Win Over Sobotta
Alex Oliviera got his second-straight victory in 2020, defeating Peter Sobotta via unanimous decision. Oliveira’s win saw him dominated through kicks and great defence.
Sobotta had a rough second round, facing two fouls in a groin kick and eye poke.
The fight was Sobotta’s return to MMA, with his previous fight being a loss to Leon Edwards in early 2018.
Bout 9: Khamzat Chimaev (7-0) vs. Rhys McKee (10-2-1) (Welterweight)
Chimaev Wins Fight 10 Days After Debut
A win nothing short of one-sided went to Khamzat Chimaev over Rhys McKee to start the main card. The fight ended after Chimaev landed dozens of punches unanswered punches on the ground.
Chimaev’s fight was a quick turnaround, with his UFC debut win taking place only 10 days before against John Phillips.
“I can fight, after one hour maybe?” joked Chimaev in his post-fight interview.
McKee, a former Cage Warriors fighter and BAMMA Lightweight Champion had made his UFC debut in this fight. Vegas odds listed McKee as a “huge underdog” for the bout.
Bout 8: Francisco Trinaldo (25-7) vs. Jai Herbert (10-1) (Lightweight)
Trinaldo Finishes Newcomer Herbert In Third Round
A close battle ended in favour of Francisco Trinaldo in the final round, scoring a knockout with a left hand against Jai Herbert.
The fight saw a late stoppage after the knockout, where Trinaldo was hesitant to land more punches as Herbert was clearly unaware of where he was. After throwing a couple more punches, the referee ended the fight.
“That’s two times now,” snapped commentator Dan Hardy at referee Herb Dean following the finish, leaving the commentary desk at a point to argue with Dean.
The earlier rounds were close, as Herbert had his respective moments on the ground and with striking.
The win continued a hot streak recently for Trinaldo, as the Brazilian won a fight via decision last November and February as well.
It was an unsuccessful UFC debut for former Cage Warriors Lightweight Champion Herbert, losing a six-fight streak of wins.
Trinaldo missed the non-championship lightweight limit of 156 pounds, weighing in at 160 pounds on Friday. After the fight, Trinaldo said he plans to move to the welterweight division. He called out Mike Perry and Donald Cerrone in his post-fight interview.
Bout 7: Nicolas Dalby (18-3-1) vs. Jesse Ronson (21-10) (Welterweight)
Ronson Wins In UFC Return
In his return to the UFC, Jesse Ronson stopped Nicholas Dalby with a rear naked choke. The choke came moments after Dalby was dropped by a left hand that allowed Ronson to take a dominant position on the ground.
Ronson stepped up on short notice, replacing Dalby’s original opponent, Danny Roberts. His previous UFC run was in 2013 and 2014, where he lost three fights via unanimous decision. He fought 13 times outside of the UFC before his return.
“It was to hell and back. I clawed tooth and nail to get here,” said Ronson after the fight.
After the fight, Ronson said he plans to move down to lightweight, aiming to fight in November or December. After the fight, Ronson challenged Luis Pena or Jalin Turner for his next bout.
“I love fighting tall guys and I love crushing their guts,” said Ronson as part of his callout.
Bout 6: Jake Collier (11-4) vs. Tom Aspinall (7-2) (Heavyweight)
Aspinall Wins UFC Debut In Under A Minute
It took less than a minute for Tom Aspinall to win his fight, dropping Jake Collier with a two punch combination to win his UFC debut. Once Collier fell due to the punches the referee was quick to stop the fight.
Aspinall had previously competed in the regional scene, with notable wins in promotion Cage Warriors.
Aspinall was quick to aim for his next opponent after.
“I like the look of Serghei Spivac,” said Aspinall after the fight.
The fight was Collier’s debut at heavyweight after previously having six fights in the UFC’s light heavyweight division.
Bout 5: Movsar Evloev (12-0) vs. Mike Grundy (12-1) (Featherweight)
Evloev Remains Undefeated
Remaining undefeated, Movsar Evloev took a unanimous decision win against Mike Grundy on the prelims. Evloev’s success in the fight came from his ability to dictate striking and quickly escape positions on the ground.
Grundy seemingly came close to a finish in the first round when he put in a d’arce choke. However, Evloev was able to quickly escape the position and return to the feet. Grundy’s wrestling would take down Evloev frequently in the fight, although Evloev would be very quick to get back up.
Evloev, a former M-1 Bantamweight Champion now has three-straight wins in the UFC, all via decision.
This was a fight originally scheduled for a year ago, although injury on Grundy’s behalf stopped the fight from following through.
Bout 4: Raphael Pessoa (10-1) vs. Tanner Boser (18-6-1) (Heavyweight)
Boser Gets Second Finish Win In Under A Month
Tanner Boser got his second win in under a month, stopping Raphael Pessoa in the second round with strikes. The fight ended after a punch hurt Pessoa in the right eye, causing him to drop and shell up. Boser landed a series of punches on the ground before referee Herb Dean ended the fight.
Boser’s quick turnaround was due to the a vacancy on this card after Pessoa’s original opponent Justin Tafa pulled out of the card. Boser’s previous fight saw him stop Philipe Lins in the first round with punches.
“I felt my knuckle dig right into his eye and, that’s gonna suck,” said Boser after his fight.
The first round saw a small number of strikes from both fighters, although it showed Boser’s fast movement and speed.
Boser called out the same opponent as he did after his fight before.
“Maurice Greene you stole a payday from me last August,” said the Canadian heavyweight.
Bout 3: Bethe Correia (11-4-1) vs. Pannie Kianzad (12-5) (Bantamweight)
Kianzad Wins With Strikes Over Correia
A successful fight on the feet gave Pannie Kianzad a win on the prelims, defeating UFC veteran Bethe Correia. The fight saw Kianzad score with combinations on the feet throughout the fight that did visible damage to Correia.
Correia was able to score with her own strikes on the feet and get a few takedowns in the competition as well. One of the three judges gave a round to Correia.
An odd moment came near the end of the first round in the fight, where Correia was hit off guard due to her thinking the round ended when it didn’t.
Kianzad got her second win in a row, with her previous victory coming against Jessica-Rose Clark last November.
Bout 2: Ramazan Emeev (18-4) vs. Niklas Stolze (12-3) (Welterweight)
Emeev Gets Decision Over Stolze
Ramazan Emeev took a unanimous decision victory over Niklas Stolze in the second fight of the prelim card. The fight went the way of Emeev due to strong striking and dominant clinch work throughout all three rounds.
The loss was Stolze’s UFC debut, replacing Shavkat Rakhmonov, who withdrew from the card. He previously had a four-fight streak of wins from regional MMA.
Stolze’s best moment was late in the first round, where he dropped Emeev with a knee to the head. The round was a hard one to score, as Emeev who was the clear better fighter in the minutes before.
Emeev bounced back from his sole UFC loss, which came in November against Anthony Rocco Martin. Before the, he had a seven-fight streak of wins, with three of them taking place in the UFC.
Bout 1: Nathaniel Wood (16-4) vs. John Castaneda (17-4) (Bantamweight)
Wood Gets Back Into The Win Column
Nathaniel Wood bounced back from a loss to John Dodson to start the prelims, taking a unanimous decision victory over John Castaneda. The fight saw a high tempo of strikes from both fighters, although Wood’s ability to land a higher volume and a bigger variety of strikes made him the better fighter.
Wood’s previous loss in February was his first in his four UFC bouts. The former Cage Warriors Bantamweight Champion earned his fourth UFC win in this bout.
Castaneda took the fight on short notice, replacing Umar Nurmagomedov.