Fabricio Werdum (W) vs Alexander Gustafsson – Heavyweight Bout
In a matchup we never thought we’d see, UFC legend Fabricio Werdum faces one of the best light heavyweights Alexander Gustafsson as he makes his surprising heavyweight debut. Well Gustafsson’s debut at heavyweight didn’t last too long. Gustafsson looked sharp, keeping a similar look to how he looked down in light heavyweight and threw his hands at Werdum early, Werdum managed to shoot for a takedown and get it, getting the back of Gustafsson. Most were expecting to see Werdum work for the rear naked choke, but instead he worked for the armbar, and after some decent defending from Gustafsson, he had no other choice but to tap. Werdum takes the world by surprise.
Mauricio Rua (W) vs Antonio Rogerio Nogueira – Light Heavyweight Bout
In the co-main event of the evening, two legends and fan favourites in the MMA world take eachother on as Mauricio Rua fights Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in a rematch. My god these guys are getting on in age but they were throwing down like they’d just started their careers. Rua enjoyed some early success with leg kicks whilst Nogueira circled, trying to find a way inside. Nogueira locked Rua in against the cage and got some nice shots to the body. Nogueira then spun off and hit a wonderful left hand and both guys just started throwing wildly. Rua scored a late takedown to end the round. 10-9 Nogueira for me.
Round 2 was just as wild, Rua went back to some inner leg kicks but Nogueira was just constantly finding a home for his straight left hand. Nogueira got a takedown and enjoyed a lot of control time before Rua managed to scramble his way to his feet. Rua found some success with his right hand, but Nogueira started teeing off with Rua back up against the cage wall. 20-18 Nogueira for me.
Round 3 started with both guys happy to throw shots at eachother, with Rua looking for more kicks to the leg and body, whilst Nogueira was constantly trying to setup the left hand. Nogueira managed to get a few left hands through and stun Rua, but Rua answered back with some right hands of his own. Rua got a takedown with a minute to go and stayed in dominant position, laying down some nasty ground and pound to end the fight. I have it 29-28 Nogueira but the judges disagreed as they gave the split decision to Rua.
Robert Whittaker (W) vs Darren Till – Middleweight Bout
And its finally time for the main event, a fight every fan in the world has been looking forward to as Robert Whittaker takes on Darren Till. Till started the fight, charging in on Whittaker but met two stiff left jabs, Till sat back after that and sent shots in from range whilst Whittaker got a little wild with shots. Till caught Whittaker with a really nice elbow that dropped Whittaker who managed to recover after some nice defense on his back. Till then stunned Whittaker two more times with a nice left hand, 10-9 Till for me after 1.
Round 2 started and Whittaker found a nice left hook to Till to remind him of the power, Till stayed back out of range, trying to find an opening and as he tried to make one Whittaker caught him with a vicious overhead right that sent Till to the floor. Whittaker jumped on top looking for the finish but couldn’t find it, settling for some control time. Whittaker then started working on the lead leg of Till with some nasty leg kicks, 19-19 after two.
Round 3 was at a much slower pace than the others as both guys were wary of being knocked down earlier in the fight and trying to find a way through eachothers gameplan. Whittaker worked on the lead leg of Till at the start of the round but both guys were looking for a way to get their power shots through. Whittaker keeps throwing that overhead right with some serious power but Till has the read on it and looks to be loading up an elbow at some point. Tough round to call, 29-28 Whittaker maybe?
Round 4 was very similar to round 3, both guys aren’t willing to fully unload as they know the other has KO power waiting to be used. Till did piece a nice 3 hit combo with his right that had Whittaker retreating and was still looking for that elbow, whilst Whittaker seemed to be looking for that overhead right and missing for the majority of attempts. Way too close to call so I’ll say its 38-38 with one to go.
Round 5 was another close round, both guys not willing to let their hands go but Till enjoyed the majority of the success that round, piecing together some nice left hands and caught Whittaker with a really nice elbow that cut Whittaker open and blood was pouring out. Whittaker scored to late takedowns but Till got straight back up. I want to give the round to Till but the judges will give it to Whittaker so he should win 48-47, the judges agree but I feel like neither guy deserved to lose that.
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via USA TODAY Sports