This weekend’s main event sees the return of former champion and the No.1 ranked middleweight Robert ‘The Reaper’ Whittaker taking on No. 5 ranked Darren ‘the Gorilla’ Till. Whittaker goes into the bout with an Impressive 10 wins by KO, with six of those coming in the first round. He also wins over holds wins over Yoel Romero (twice), Jacare Souza and Derek Brunso.
The Gorilla from Liverpool, England will be looking to cement his shot at the middleweight championship by taking out his first former champion. Till will be making his second appearance in the division. He’s won five of his last seven bouts with wins against over Kelvin Gastelum, Stephen Thompson and Donald Cerrone. Like Whittaker, Till also has 10 wins by KO, with five of those in first round so this sets up a fascinating and exciting bout between south paw artists.
In the co-main event, light heavyweight legends Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and Antonio Rogerio‘Minotouro’ Nogueira will face each other for the third and possibly final time. Shogun has a 2-0 advantage over Nogueira going into the bout and will be looking to shut out his old rival. His first victory over Nogueira was in the 2005 Pride Grand prix where he went on to win the series. In their last meeting in 2015 Shogun was victorious again by unanimous decision. He also boasts wins over Alistair Overeem, Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin with 21 of his wins being by KO.
Nogueira will be looking to finally get the upper hand on his rival in what he feels could be one of his last fights. Since their last meeting Minotouro has had two KO wins over Patrick Cumming and Sam Alvey. Along with his MMA career, he Is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and has won a bronze medal in boxing at the 2007 Pan Am Games. With both Brazilians having a similar dominating stand up game this should be a tantalising match-up.
Signing off Fight Island
UFC signs off FIGHT ISLAND with a heavy presence on the card from the United Kingdom. On the main card Scotland’s Paul Craig takes on Gadzhimurad Antigulov in an evenly matched-up light heavyweight bout. Craig will be hoping an impressive performance will see him back on track as he attempts to break his way into the top 10 In the division. Elsewhere on the main card It was a very late call up for Northern Ireland’s Rhys McKee who makes his UFC debut with a bout in the welterweight division. McKee faces Chechnya’s Khamzat Chimaev fighting out of Stockholm who has already had a taste of victory on the Island with a win in the middleweight division against John Phillips just ten days before.
In the prelims there are four UK athletes on the card with two on them making debuts. Wolverhampton’s Jai Herbert will be making his octagon debut against UFC Veteran Francisco Trinaldo in the lightweight division. Liverpool’s Tom Aspinall will get his first taste of the heavyweight division as he takes on Jake Collier. Joining them will be the return of wrestling pro Mike Grundy who Is up against the undefeated Russian Movsar Evloev in the featherweight division. The Prelims are rounded off with top English bantamweight prospect Nathaniel Wood who will be looking to get back to winning ways against John Castaneda.
Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker vs. Darren “The Gorilla” Till
Mauricio “Minotouro” Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio“Shogun” Nogueira
Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum vs. Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson
Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza vs. Marina Rodriguez
Paul “BearJew” Craig vs. Gadzhimurad Antigulov
Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira vs. Peter Sobotta
Khamzat “Borz” Chimaev vs. Rhys “Skeletor” McKee
Francisco “Massaranduba” Trinaldo vs. Jai “Black Country Banger” Herbert
Nicolas “Lokomotivo” Dalby vs. Jesse “The Body Snatcher” Ronson
Tom Aspinall vs. Jake “The Prototype” Collier
Movsar Evloev vs. Mike Grundy
Tanner “The Bulldozer” Boser vs. Raphael “Bebezão” Pessoa Nunes
Bethe “Pitbull” Correia vs. Pannie “Banzai” Kianzad
Ramazan “Gorets” Emeev vs. Niklas “Green Mask” Stolze
Nathaniel “The Prospect” Wood vs. John “Sexi Mexi” Castaneda