The UFC’s debut run on “Fight Island” comes to a close on Saturday with a marathon card in Abu Dhabi.
Barring any last-minute dropouts, a whopping 15 fights will go down at UFC on ESPN 14 – the most since UFC 2 in 1994 – and several of those fights are consequential.
None more so than the evening’s main event, in which Robert Whittaker returns to the cage for the first time since losing the middleweight championship to Israel Adesanya. There, he’ll take on another fighter with something to prove, English star Darren Till. Till, a former welterweight title challenger, has successfully transitioned to 185 pounds, and he’s looking to prove he’s here to stay in his new division.
UFC on ESPN 14 takes place Saturday at Flash Forum on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The card airs on ESPN and streams on ESPN+.
Without further ado, here are six burning questions heading into UFC on ESPN 14.
Does Robert Whittaker still have it?
We’ll admit that, at first glance, this looks like a bit of a harsh question to ask of someone coming off only one loss, to Adesanya at that, following a nine-fight winning streak. But then you stop and consider that Whittaker has fought only once in the past two years and twice in the past three.
And that his body doesn’t seem to want to cooperate, from knee injuries to staph infections to a collapsed bowel.
And you also consider that, even though Whittaker (20-5 MMA, 11-3 UFC) hasn’t yet hit age 30, he’s been through some wars, including 10 absolutely grueling rounds with a killer in Yoel Romero.
Will this all go down as a detour along the way before Whittaker makes adjustments and returns to the top? Or might the lopsided second-round KO loss to Adesanya prove his ultimate turning point? A battle with Till (18-2-1 MMA, 6-2-1 UFC) should give us a strong indication which way this is going.
Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/07/ufc-fight-isaldn-3-burning-questions-whittaker-vs-till/