UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Till
|UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Till|
The poster for UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Till.
|Promotion||Ultimate Fighting Championship|
|Date||July 26, 2020|
|City||Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates|
|Attendance||None (behind closed doors)|
UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Till (also known as UFC on ESPN 14 and UFC Fight Island 3) was a mixed martial arts event produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship that took place on July 26, 2020 at the Flash Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
This event was the fourth and final UFC Fight Island event that took place on Yas Island, following UFC 251, UFC on ESPN: Kattar vs. Ige and UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs. Benavidez 2, as part of a plan to facilitate the hosting of events involving fighters impacted by U.S. travel restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A middleweight bout between former UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker (also The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes welterweight winner) and former UFC Welterweight Championship challenger Darren Till served as the event headliner.
The event also included fighters that were pulled from other events previously cancelled, as well as the following bouts:
- A light heavyweight bout between the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Maurício Rua (also 2005 PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix Champion) and Antônio Rogério Nogueira. The pairing previously met at PRIDE Critical Countdown 2005 and UFC 190, with Rua winning both fights. The bout was scheduled for the original May 9 date of UFC 250 that later became UFC 249, but cancelled due to the relocation of the event. Nogueira announced that he planned to retire after this bout.
- A women's bantamweight bout between former title challenger Bethe Correia and Pannie Kianzad. This bout was also scheduled for the original May 9 date of UFC 250 and removed for the same reasons as the fight above it.
- A welterweight bout between Danny Roberts and Nicolas Dalby. They were scheduled to meet at UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Edwards, but the event was the first of five to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Roberts was forced off the card due to injury and replaced by returning veteran Jesse Ronson.
- A heavyweight bout between Tom Aspinall and Jake Collier. This fight was also scheduled for UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs. Edwards and removed for the same reasons as the previous one.
A welterweight bout between Ramazan Emeev and Shavkat Rakhmonov was expected to take place at the event, but Rakhmonov was forced to withdraw due to injury on July 2 and replaced by Niklas Stolze.
Umar Nurmagomedov was expected to face Nathaniel Wood in a bantamweight bout at this event. However, he pulled out on July 3 after his uncle, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov (also the father of current UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov), died from complications related to COVID-19. He was replaced by promotional newcomer John Castañeda.
A women's strawweight bout between former Invicta FC and UFC Women's Strawweight Champion Carla Esparza and Marina Rodriguez was scheduled for UFC on ESPN: Kattar vs. Ige nine days earlier. However, the bout was cancelled after one of Rodriguez's cornermen tested positive for COVID-19. Rodriguez had her test come back negative, but the bout was scrapped due to precautionary reasons. They were rescheduled for this event.
At the weigh-ins, Francisco Trinaldo weighed in at 160 pounds, four pounds over the lightweight non-title fight limit. His bout proceeded at a catchweight and he was fined 30% of his purse, which went to his opponent Jai Herbert.
|Main card (ESPN / ESPN+)|
|Middleweight||Robert Whittaker||def.||Darren Till||Decision (unanimous) (48–47, 48–47, 48–47)||5||5:00|
|Light Heavyweight||Maurício Rua||def.||Antônio Rogério Nogueira||Decision (split) (29–28, 28–29, 29–28)||3||5:00|
|Heavyweight||Fabrício Werdum||def.||Alexander Gustafsson||Submission (armbar)||1||2:30|
|Women's Strawweight||Carla Esparza||def.||Marina Rodriguez||Decision (split) (28–29, 29–28, 30–27)||3||5:00|
|Light Heavyweight||Paul Craig||def.||Gadzhimurad Antigulov||Submission (triangle choke)||1||2:06|
|Welterweight||Alex Oliveira||def.||Peter Sobotta||Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 30–27)||3||5:00|
|Welterweight||Khamzat Chimaev||def.||Rhys McKee||TKO (punches)||1||3:09|
|Preliminary Card (ESPN / ESPN+)|
|Catchweight (160 lb)||Francisco Trinaldo||def.||Jai Herbert||TKO (punches)||3||1:30|
|Welterweight||Jesse Ronson||def.||Nicolas Dalby||Submission (rear-naked choke)||1||2:48|
|Heavyweight||Tom Aspinall||def.||Jake Collier||TKO (punches)||1||0:45|
|Featherweight||Movsar Evloev||def.||Mike Grundy||Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 29–28)||3||5:00|
|Heavyweight||Tanner Boser||def.||Raphael Pessoa||TKO (punches)||2||2:36|
|Women's Bantamweight||Pannie Kianzad||def.||Bethe Correia||Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 29–28)||3||5:00|
|Welterweight||Ramazan Emeev||def.||Niklas Stolze||Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 29–28)||3||5:00|
|Bantamweight||Nathaniel Wood||def.||John Castañeda||Decision (unanimous) (30–27, 30–27, 30–27)||3||5:00|
The following fighters received $50,000 bonuses.
- Fight of the Night: No bonus awarded.
- Performance of the Night: Fabrício Werdum, Paul Craig, Khamzat Chimaev, Jesse Ronson, Tom Aspinall and Tanner Boser
Khamzat Chimaev broke the record for quickest turnaround between UFC wins at 10 days (not including one-night-tournaments during the UFC's early days).
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- Farah Hannoun (2020-06-09). "UFC 'Fight Island' is ... Yas Island, Abu Dhabi". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
- Parviz Iskenderov (2020-05-29). "Robert Whittaker vs Darren Till to headline July 25 card on UFC Fight Island". fightmag.com. Retrieved 2020-06-13.
- Nolan King (2020-06-04). "Dana White: UFC books Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Mauricio Rua 3 for July 25". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
- Staff (2020-02-20). "Shogun and Minotouro face off for the third time at UFC 250 in São Paulo". globoesporte.globo.com. Retrieved 2020-06-18. (in Portuguese)
- Staff (2020-04-09). "Jose Aldo among Brazilians out of UFC 250 and beyond because of visa issues during pandemic". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
- Mike Bohn and John Morgan (2020-07-21). "Antônio Rogério Nogueira plans to retire after trilogy bout with 'Shogun' Rua at UFC on ESPN 14". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-07-22.
- Marcelo Barone (2020-05-23). "Ultimate plans to reschedule fight between Bethe Correia and Pannie Kianzad for July, on Fight Island". globoesporte.globo.com. Retrieved 2020-06-18. (in Portuguese)
- Mike Heck (2020-06-18). "UFC announces full lineups for July events on 'Fight Island,' including four title fights". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
- Farah Hannoun (2020-03-24). "Dana White: All called-off fights, including Tyron Woodley vs. Leon Edwards, are being rescheduled". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
- Staff (2020-07-03). "Jesse Ronson takes short notice match against Nicolas Dalby on July 25 in Abu Dhabi". mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2020-07-03. (in Dutch)
- Alexander K. Lee (2020-07-02). "Danny Roberts, Shavkat Rakhmonov off of July 25 UFC 'Fight Island' card". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
- Staff (2020-07-05). "Niklas Stolze replaces Shavkat Rakhmonov against Ramazan Emeev on July 25 in Abu Dhabi". mmadna.nl. Retrieved 2020-07-05. (in Dutch)
- Amy Kaplan (2020-07-03). "Umar Nurmagomedov, Tagir Ulanbekov delay travel to Fight Island following the passing of Khabib's dad". fansided.com. Retrieved 2020-07-04.
- Nolan King and Simon Head (2020-07-09). "UFC taps John Castaneda to replace Umar Nurmagomedov, will fight Nathaniel Wood on 'Fight Island'". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-07-09.
- Danny Segura and Nolan King (2020-07-03). "Marina Rodriguez vs. Carla Esparza removed from July 15 UFC event after positive COVID-19 test". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-07-04.
- Staff (2020-07-05). "Carla Esparza vs. Marina Rodriguez reset for July 25 UFC show in Abu Dhabi". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-07-05.
- Nolan King (2020-07-15). "Justin Tafa off July 25 UFC 'Fight Island' event; Tanner Boser expected to face Raphael Pessoa". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-07-15.
- Staff (2020-07-24). "UFC on ESPN 14 weigh-in results: 15-fight card set, but one fighter heavy". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-07-24.
- "UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Till". Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
- Jay Anderson (2020-07-26). "UFC Fight Island 3 bonuses: six fighters earn 50K Performance of the Night awards". cagesidepress.com. Retrieved 2020-07-26.
- Casey Olson (2020-07-24). "UFC Fight Island 3: Robert Whittaker vs Darren Till". si.com. Retrieved 2020-07-25.
- Mike Bohn (2020-07-25). "UFC on ESPN 14 results: Khamzat Chimaev makes history with second UFC win in 10 days". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-07-25.