UFC On ESPN 14: "Whittaker vs Till" Live Play-By-Play & ResultsThe Ultimate Fighting Championship concluded its series of events on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates tonight with UFC on ESPN 14: “Whittaker vs Till.” The card was headlined by a middleweight bout between former champ Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker and Darren “The Gorilla” Till.

In the co-feature, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua faced Antonio Rogerio “Minotouro” Nogueira in a light heavyweight trilogy bout. Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum battled Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson in a featured heavyweight matchup. MMARising.com has live play-by-play for tonight’s UFC card.


Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker vs Darren “The Gorilla” Till

Round 1:
Whittaker landed three counter left hands and a leg kick in the opening minute. Both men stepped in to strikes at the same time and Till landed an elbow that dropped Whittaker. He allowed Whittaker to stand and continued to walk him down with punches that led to a clinch against the fence. Whittaker responded with knees and Till punched his way free from the clinch. Whittaker kicked at Till’s right leg and just missed with a head kick. He ducked under a hook from Till and fired back with lunging punches. Whittaker landed right hands and leg kicks late in the close round. 10-9 Till.

Round 2:
Till landed a grazing elbow early in round two and ate a huge left hook from Whittaker. He maintained his footing, but Whittaker dropped him with a right hand soon after. He dove into Till’s guard and threw short elbows and punches from the top. Whittaker passed to half-guard and landed a big elbow to Till’s nose. More elbows landed for Whittaker and he tried to take Till’s back as Till exploded up to his feet. Till broke free from the clinch and Whittaker landed leg kicks as the round entered its final minute. Till landed a left hook and Whittaker ran after him with three punches. 10-9 Whittaker.

Round 3:
Whittaker kicked at Till’s lead leg early in round three and Till responded with an elbow. Whittaker landed right hands and both men avoided head kicks from the other. Till closed in with a one-two and he landed a knee as Whittaker threw a looping left hook. More leg kicks landed for Whittaker and both men missed with power hooks. Whittaker punched his way into a clinch and Till responded with a knee. Very close round. 10-9 Whittaker.

Round 4:
The fighters were cautious to open the fourth round and both pawed out with jabs. Till landed an elbow and a big flurry that briefly wobbled Whittaker, but he recovered and kicked at Till’s right leg. As the round progressed, Whittaker landed an overhand right and a lead left hook. In a brief clinch, Whittaker landed a short uppercut and he tried to take Till down after catching a knee. Two lead hooks landed for Whittaker and Till responded with a counter left cross. Another close round. 10-9 Till, barely.

Round 5:
Both men missed with looping punches early in the final round and Whittaker continued to kick at Till’s lead leg. Whittaker faked a shot and landed a right hand, but Till responded with a straight left. He jabbed and Whittaker landed another hard leg kick in return. A right hand landed for Whittaker and he ducked under a counter from Till. Seconds later, Till opened a big cut on Whittaker’s left ear with an elbow, but Whittaker responded with two takedowns and he pinned Till against the fence until the end of the round. 10-9 Whittaker.

Winner: Robert Whittaker by Unanimous Decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) after five rounds. He improves to 21-5-0.


Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs Antonio Rogerio “Minotouro” Nogueira

Round 1:
Rua struck first with leg kicks and he clinched with Nogueira against the cage. Rua threw short knees to Nogueira’s leg until Nogueira circled out. A straight left hand landed for Nogueira and Rua answered with lunging punches. Both men landed combinations in close and Rua circled on the outside. Nogueira landed a flurry and he followed with a knee as Rua tied him up. Big power punches were exchanged and Nogueira landed three hard left hands. Rua took him down into half-guard shortly before the bell. 10-9 Rua by a slim margin.

Round 2:
After a brief clinch in the second round, Rua landed a leg kick and Nogueira walked him down with left hands. Rua looked for a takedown, but Nogueira stuffed it and he fell on top of Rua. Working from Rua’s guard, Nogueira landed punches to the body and head. Rua scrambled up to his feet and he landed a left hook, but was once again unsuccessful with a takedown attempt. A left cross landed for Nogueira and Rua responded with a right hand and a leg kick. Nogueira walked Rua down with left hooks throughout the final minute. 10-9 Nogueira.

Round 3:
The final round began with Rua landing a hard leg kick and Nogueira fired back with a three-punch combo. Rua countered a left hand with another leg kick. Nogueira landed a jab and Rua responded with a powerful kick to the body. Both men landed power punches and Nogueira connected with two quick combos. Rua jabbed his way into a clinch and took Nogueira down. Rua postured up with punches and hammerfists from Nogueira’s half-guard and kept him down until the bell. 10-9 Rua.

Winner: Mauricio Rua by Split Decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) after three rounds. He improves to 27-11-1.


Fabricio “Vai Cavalo” Werdum vs Alexander “The Mauler” Gustafsson

Round 1:
Werdum opened the fight with hard leg kicks and Gustafsson responded with a four-punch combo. Werdum took him down and transitioned to back control after a brief scramble. He attacked with a belly-down armbar attempt, but could not separate Gustafsson’s hands in order to extend the arm. Werdum rolled through to a conventional armbar, broke Gustafsson’s grip and pulled back on Gustafsson’s arm. Gustafsson tapped out immediately.

Winner: Fabricio Werdum by Submission (Armbar) at 2:30 of round one. He improves to 24-9-1.


Carla “Cookie Monster” Esparza vs Marina Rodriguez

Round 1:
Esparza secured a swift takedown into Rodriguez’s guard in the opening seconds of the fight. She struck from the top with punches and elbows as Rodriguez threw short elbows from the bottom. Esparza landed more punches and she slammed Rodriguez down after Rodriguez postured for a triangle choke. Rodriguez cut her above the left eye with an elbow from the bottom and Esparza began to bleed heavily. She dropped back for a heel hook attempt and Rodriguez escaped. She landed punches from the top until Esparza stood and dove at Rodriguez’s ankle. She was unable to get Rodriguez down and Rodriguez landed more punches. Esparza scrambled up and she shot in once again for a takedown. Rodriguez defended with punches and elbows to the side of her head. 10-9 Rodriguez due to the late-round rally.

Round 2:
Rodriguez targeted Esparza’s damaged eye with right hands in the second round and both women landed leg kicks. Rodriguez shrugged off takedown attempts, but Esparza got her down after catching a kick. She struck from the top and dove back into Rodriguez’s guard after Rodriguez briefly kicked her off. Esparza continued to strike from top position and Rodriguez threw short hammerfists in return. Esparza dropped back for a heel hook again and Rodriguez re-opened the cut above her eye with hammerfists. Esparza landed an upkick and got back to her feet before the bell. 10-9 Esparza.

Round 3:
Esparza got Rodriguez down on her second try in the final round and she landed left hands to Rodriguez’s face until Rodriguez scrambled up to her feet. Esparza quickly took her back down and she resumed striking from the top. She landed a series of short elbows to Rodriguez’s forehead and avoided a triangle choke attempt. Rodriguez threw two elbows from the bottom and Esparza responded with a series of hard elbows in return. Rodriguez scrambled up and ate a knee along the way. Esparza took her back down and finished the round on top. 10-9 Esparza.

Winner: Carla Esparza by Split Decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29) after three rounds. She improves to 17-6-0.


Paul “Bearjew” Craig vs Gadzhimurad Antigulov

Round 1:
Craig opened the action with a right hand and a leg kick, which prompted Antigulov to clinch and take him down. Craig countered Antigulov’s ground and pound with a triangle choke from the bottom. He methodically tightened the choke as Antigulov dropped right hands to Craig’s left eye, bloodying it in the process. Eventually, Antigulov’s airway was completely cut off and he tapped out.

Winner: Paul Craig by Submission (Triangle Choke) at 2:06 of round one. He improves to 13-4-1.


Alex “Cowboy” Oliveira vs Peter Sobotta

Round 1:
Oliveira struck first with a body kick and Sobotta landed one in return soon after. Oliveira continued to throw kicks and the fighters traded right hands. Oliveira hurt Sobotta with a front kick to the body, but Sobotta recovered and he used jabs to keep Oliveira at bay. Oliveira continued to find success with kicks to Sobotta’s body and left arm. Sobotta began to favour the arm and he did not throw any strikes in the final 20 seconds. 10-9 Oliveira.

Round 2:
Oliveira kept the pressure on with kicks to the body in the second round and the fighters clinched against the cage. Oliveira cut Sobotta on the forehead with a slashing elbow strike before backing away. Time was called after Sobotta was kicked in the groin. Action resumed and both men landed kicks. Oliveira chopped away at Sobotta’s lead leg with kicks and time was called when Sobotta was poked in the eye. The fight continued on and Oliveira landed calf kicks, then dropped Sobotta with a counter right cross just before the bell. 10-9 Oliveira.

Round 3:
Sobotta fought through early strikes from Oliveira and tried for a takedown in the final round, but Oliveira reversed it. He briefly struck from the top, then stood up and allowed Sobotta to follow. Punches were exchanged and Oliveira landed a front kick to the body. He followed with a switch kick that Sobotta partially blocked. In the final minute, Oliveira continued to attack Sobotta’s lead leg and body with kicks while Sobotta was unable to land more than a handful of lunging jabs. 10-9 Oliveira.

Winner: Alex Oliveira by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds. He improves to 22-8-1, 2 NC.


Khamzat “Borz” Chimaev vs Rhys “Skeletor” McKee

Round 1:
Chimaev clinched and slammed McKee down to the ground right away. He looked to set up a rear-naked choke, then mounted McKee and rained down right hands. McKee gave up his back and got to his knees, but Chimaev continued to batter him with punches and he threatened again with a rear-naked choke. Chimaev flattened McKee out and landed numerous right hands, then switched to elbows. McKee could not escape from under Chimaev, who teed off with punches from the top until the one-sided bout was finally stopped. McKee did not land a single strike.

Winner: Khamzat Chimaev by TKO (Punches) at 3:09 of round one. He improves to 8-0-0.


(Undercard results and play-by-play on Page Two.)