Robert Whittaker made a statement on Fight Island, Saturday night - taking on Darren Till in what was a relatively well contested bout from the Liverpudlian.
His second bout in the UFC's middleweight category and Robert Whittaker's first since losing his belt to Israel Adesanya - the bout was respectfully standoffish before Whittaker would lunge forward to get his right hand on his target.
It would cost him in the first round, where Till landed an elbow dropping Whittaker early, then finding success on the feet as he backed Whittaker up with his left hand.
Whittaker's knockdown in the second round begun a series of successes in his striking, outstriking and beating Till to the punch.
Evidence of Whittaker's ability to read Till's feints and get close enough to land decisive punches would show at the end of the match.
Respectfully, Till remained a constant threat and stayed dangerous until the later rounds, where a combo of big punches deafened the venue at the Fight Island venue in Abu Dhabi.
Still, Whittaker was able to avoid taking much damage at all, save for a big elbow that left a mess of blood pouring down the former champion after much manhandling off Darren Till via "The Reaper"'s wrestling.
Robert Whittaker will be looking towards the winner of Paulo Costa vs. Israel Adesanya on September 19th whilst Till proves he can hold it down against some of the big names in stacked division.