When the term “Fight Island” was first mentioned by Dana White, it seemed a far off prospect. Coming off the back of postponements and cancellations after the outbreak, White’s suggestion seemed unlikely. Three months later, we’re preparing for three blockbuster Fight Night events after a successful UFC 251 pay-per-view this past weekend in the heat of Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
Whilst going into Fight Island most were focused on the big-name title fights, including Kamaru Usman vs. Jorge Masvidal, Petr Yan vs. Jose Aldo and Max Holloway vs. Alexander Volkanovski, a number of great bouts have certainly been slept on and overshadowed by the super-stacked 251 card. But with those fights in the book, the mantle falls to a treble of Fight Nights, with the task being to keep the Fight Island hype and momentum going, and it certainly has the matchups to do so.
In this article, WhatCulture gets you ready for the continuation of UFC Fight Island, with the seven underrated fights still to come that you won't want to miss.
7. Robert Whittaker Vs. Darren Till - Middleweight
The last main event of UFC's stint on Yas Island sees England's Darren Till given a middleweight test about as tough as it could come. It will be the former UFC Middleweight Champion, Robert 'The Reaper' Whittaker entering the cage with the Liverpool-born fighter on July 25.
In a matchup grand enough to have main-evented a pay-per-view, the build-up and anticipation hasn't given the potential war these two will go through in the Octagon justice. In undoubtedly the biggest fight still to come in Abu Dhabi's temporary arena, the 'Gorilla' has a chance to firmly establish himself as a top middleweight competitor, after switching from welterweight in November 2019.
Having made his 185 lbs debut against the former interim-title contender Kelvin Gastelum, Till has shown promise in his new division and a win against the number two-ranked Whittaker will place the Scouse in a solid position for a shot at the belt after Paulo Costa.
For Whittaker, this fight represents a chance for some redemption. After an off-night for the Aussie in Melbourne which saw him lose his title, Whittaker went through some difficulties early in the year and had to pull out of a supposed bout with Jared Cannonier due to burnout. With a win against Ronaldo Souza and back-to-back triumphs over Yoel Romero before his loss to Adesanya, Whittaker's pedigree in the division is clear and a good performance on Fight Island could see him return to the championship form we once saw him enjoy. This striker-showdown should deliver an entertaining contest with high stakes for both men and it's certainly not one to miss.