By: Fasika Zelealem
UFC on ESPN 14 Odds: Robert Whittaker vs Darren Till Betting Prediction
We’ve reached the fourth and final UFC event taking place on Fight Island in Abu Dhabi and what a card it is that is in store for all us fight fans.
There are a staggering 15 fights scheduled for Saturday night, the most ever for a UFC event (tied with UFC 2 back in 1994). While the overall card may not be as exciting as UFC 251, the main event is just as entertaining as we see former UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker take on the No. 5 ranked middleweight Darren Till in what seems to be an unofficial title eliminator.
This is Whittaker’s first bout since losing his title to Israel Adesanya last October and after various injury and personal issues, The Reaper is aiming to get his title back.
Initially, Whittaker was scheduled to make his comeback at UFC 248 to face Jared Cannonier, the number three ranked middleweight but later pulled out due to personal reasons.
“The Robert Whittaker (fans are) going to get is a happier one — a much happier one,” Whittaker said in a chat with Bleacher Report. “I’m doing everything I’m doing for me and my family. One, because I enjoy it. And two, cause it’s how I provide for my family. (I’m) very ready to go.”
“I’d been mulling (a break), but again, the whole time it was like, ‘it’s not this, it’s not me, it’ll go away,’” Whittaker continued. “So, after the Adesanya fight, and I was no longer the champ, there were no longer the same stresses, the same pressures to do things, so I was like, ‘I’m going to take some time out.’ It was uncertain. Uncertain is a good word. It was very uncertain. I didn’t know where I was going to go or what I was going to do.”
A King Kong-Esque Fight to Wrap up Fight Island
He’s set for an instant return to title fights should he defeat Darren “The Gorilla” Till.
The Liverpool native last fought in November when he defeated Kelvin Gastelum in his middleweight debut. A win against Gastelum and Whittaker is more than enough for Till to stake a claim as the next man up for Adesanya’s title despite just two fights in the division.
Till is one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC but it’s not a title he wants or craves. Till is well aware of the long-term effects that fighting possesses and sees his defensive approach to his fights as the best strategy to walk away from the game with all his faculties.
“One big thing I’ve always known throughout my career, the wars take the toll on you, and whoever you are, you can see them taking the toll,” Till told MMA Fighting during the UFC on ESPN 14 media day.
“No disrespect, but when you look at guys like Justin Gaethje and I look at Max Holloway now, and sometimes I seem glimpses of them slurring a little bit cause of the wars they’ve been in. All respect to the wars, but it ain’t a smart choice when you’re fighting.”
Whittaker vs. Till Betting Prediction
Whittaker was on a nine-fight win streak before his loss to Adesanya and he enters Saturday’s bout as the favorite with odds of -130, compared to Till’s odds of +107.
Whittaker is also a very slight favorite to win by knockout, submission, or DQ at +215, compared to Till’s odds of +220 to win by the same method.
Only two of Whittaker’s last six victories were won by stoppage (he did face Yoel Romero twice) while Till has only two stoppage victories in his UFC career and none at middleweight.
I have Whittaker winning by decision and facing Adesanya in an epic rematch preferably back in Australia.