UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Till

UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Till
UFC on ESPN- Whittaker vs Till.jpeg
The poster for UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Till.
PromotionUltimate Fighting Championship
DateJuly 26, 2020 (2020-07-26)
Venuedu Forum
CityAbu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
AttendanceNone (behind closed doors)[1]
Event chronology
UFC Fight Night: Figueiredo vs. Benavidez 2 UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Till UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Shahbazyan

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 du Forum on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.[2]


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.[2]

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.[3]

The event also included fighters that were pulled from other events previously cancelled, as well as the following bouts:

A welterweight bout between Ramazan Emeev and Shavkat Rakhmonov was expected to take place at the event. However, Rakhmonov was forced to withdraw due to injury on July 2 and replaced by Niklas Stolze.[12][13]

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 former UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov), died from complications related to COVID-19.[14] He was replaced by promotional newcomer John Castañeda.[15]

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, a Rodriguez cornerman tested positive for COVID-19 and the bout was cancelled. Rodriguez had her test come back negative, but the bout was scrapped due to precautionary reasons.[16] They were rescheduled for this event.[17]

Justin Tafa was expected to face Raphael Pessoa in a heavyweight bout at this event. However, he pulled out on July 15 due to unknown reasons and was replaced by Tanner Boser.[18]

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.[19]


Main card (ESPN / ESPN+)
Weight class Method Round Time Notes
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 vs. Nicolas Dalby No Contest (overturned) 1 2:48 [a]
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
  1. ^ Originally a submission (rear-naked choke) win for Ronson; overturned after he tested positive for metandienone.[20]


Bonus awards

The following fighters received $50,000 bonuses.[22]

  • Fight of the Night: No bonus awarded.
  • Performance of the Night: Fabrício Werdum, Paul Craig, Khamzat Chimaev, Jesse Ronson, Tom Aspinall and Tanner Boser

Records set

The event's 15 bouts tied UFC 2 for the most on a single card in UFC history.[23]

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).[24]


On November 18, it was announced by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) that Jesse Ronson was suspended for 20 months after he tested positive for metandienone in an out-of-competition test conducted on July 22 and didn't disclose his use of the substance in his onboarding documents prior to re-joining the UFC. His suspension is retroactive to the test failure, meaning he'll be cleared to compete on March 22, 2022. They also announced that Ronson's victory was overturned to a no contest due to the violation.[20]

See also


  1. ^ Andreas Hale (2020-07-25). "What time is UFC Fight Night? Robert Whittaker vs. Darren Till TV channel, live stream schedule, odds". dazn.com. Retrieved 2020-07-25.
  2. ^ a b Farah Hannoun (2020-06-09). "UFC 'Fight Island' is ... Yas Island, Abu Dhabi". mmajunkie.usatoday.com. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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)
  6. ^ a b 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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)
  9. ^ a b 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.
  10. ^ a b 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.
  11. ^ 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)
  12. ^ Alexander K. Lee (2020-07-02). "Danny Roberts, Shavkat Rakhmonov off of July 25 UFC 'Fight Island' card". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-07-03.
  13. ^ 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)
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ a b Nolan King (2020-11-18). "UFC welterweight Jesse Ronson gets 20-month USADA suspension after failed drug test, win overturned (updated)". mmafighting.com. Retrieved 2020-11-21.
  21. ^ "UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Till". Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ Casey Olson (2020-07-24). "UFC Fight Island 3: Robert Whittaker vs Darren Till". si.com. Retrieved 2020-07-25.
  24. ^ 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.


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