Australian UFC star Robert Whittaker’s path back to the top of the middleweight division appears to be heading to the much talked about Fight Island and a bout with Darren Till.
It’s been a highly anticipated fight and was set for the UFC’s return to Dublin before COVID-19 threw the sporting world into chaos.
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But with UFC president Dana White announcing Fight Island would be the Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, which will host four events in two weeks, it appears Whittaker and Till are back on board.
Whittaker took to social media to reveal that he would simply be “back” in Abu Dhabi.
Whittaker hasn’t fought since losing his middleweight title to Israel Adesanya and then pulled out of his next fight against Jared Cannonier for personal reasons.
After his collapsed bowel and internal hernia on the eve of his fight with Kelvin Gastelum before UFC 234 as well as a bout of chickenpox, Whittaker was doing a work out on Christmas Day when he began to questions what he was doing.
“I just stopped,” Whittaker told The Daily Telegraph. “Then (I) stood there, asking, ‘What the f*** am I doing?’ It was Christmas Day. My family was somewhere else. That moment, it’s when everything crashed.
“My team suggested several plans which I took to and, because it worked, I just kept at it. But you can’t keep doing that forever, you just can’t. Worse than the physical grind, too, was the mental drain. I just wasn’t home.”
Englishman Till’s last fight was a win over Gastelum at UFC 244 but he has been enjoying his time during the break.
Till and Whittaker even started sending jokes to each other.
In an interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Whittaker suggested a catchweight bout with no training between the fighters.
“I really want to come to some sort of agreement with Daz because I feel like he gets it that we don’t train at all,” Whittaker said. “We don’t train, do it at a catchweight at 95 and just rock up. Bro, I love that, and I’m sure he’d love that too. We just dip and chips it up until August and then get in there and light it up.”
Till’s response was just as good.
But with talk of Whittaker and Till headlining the July 25th fight night, a detail fans are still waiting on from the UFC, the pair are both in good nick.
Whittaker took GQ through a workout on Instagram TV and was looking in great shape.
Meanwhile, Till was looking a lot fitter in training in a post earlier in the week.
With the winner set to push for a chance at Adesanya’s belt later in the year, Whittaker discussed the potential of facing Till in the coming months.
“It’s hard to say anything is definite in these times. But from my understanding, he’s keen, I’m keen, UFC are keen, fans are keen,” Whittaker said on Tuesday.
“If we can get a location for it an a timeline, we’re there.
“I think it’s a good match-up for me and a good match-up for him. We’re just going to get in there, put on a good show and have fun with it.”
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