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Fight Island 3: Scorecard

Recap the big winners from Fight Island 3, featuring Robert Whittaker and Khamzat Chimaev

Saturday’s UFC Fight Island 3 event is in the books, and now that the dust has settled on Fight Island, it’s time to go to the scorecard to see who the big winners were at Flash Forum.

1 – Robert Whittaker
UFC Fight Island 3: Robert Whittaker Post-fight Interview
UFC Fight Island 3: Robert Whittaker Post-fight Interview
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Robert Whittaker talks to Dan Hardy about his unanimous decision win over Darren Till.


All the signs were there for Darren Till to run Robert Whittaker over on Saturday night. Whittaker was coming off a devastating loss to Israel Adesanya that was preceded by a pair of wars with Yoel Romero, he had a series of injury and health issues over the years, and he took a break from the sport to get his mojo back after being burned out by the whole business. But then the Octagon door shut and Bobby Knuckles was back, as good as he’s ever been in winning a hard-fought five-round decision. Was it a blistering back-and-forth war? No. Did Whittaker go back to being Reckless Robert at times? Yes. But for the most part he fought a disciplined, technical fight against a dangerous foe and he got his hand raised. So is The Reaper back? Oh yeah, it sure looks like it.

2 – Khamzat Chimaev
UFC Fight Island 3: Khamzat Chimaev Post-fight Interview
UFC Fight Island 3: Khamzat Chimaev Post-fight Interview
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Khamzat Chimaev talks about getting his second win in 10 days on Fight Island.


Some might say the hype train is out of control on Khamzat Chimaev. I say the proof is what you see on fight night, and in two one-sided wins (within 10 days no less), Chimaev has outlanded his opponents 192-2. That’s called doing what you’re supposed to do if you’re as good as you say you are, and no one can deny that the unbeaten Chimaev is delivering the goods when his name is called. And the beauty of the UFC is that the level of competition will rise with every fight, and if he keeps winning, how can you deny that he’s got future champion written all over him?

3 – Carla Esparza

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if the zombies are coming and I need backup, I’m calling Carla Esparza. To me, few fighters – male or female – have the grit and ability to find a way to win like Esparza does, and she proved it again on Saturday by handing Marina Rodriguez her first pro loss. Was it a flawless victory? No. Was it easy? No. Did it get ugly for the Cookie Monster at times? Yes. But it was a win, her fourth straight, and she’s on the right track to getting a crack at regaining her strawweight title.

4 – Tom Aspinall

Tom Aspinall is going to be a problem in the heavyweight division. There, I said it. Sure, he’s only had 45 seconds of Octagon time, but a deeper look at the Brit shows that he has all the tools to make a lot of noise among the big boys. At 6-foot-5, he’s got the size, he’s a lot faster than a man that size should be, he’s still approaching his physical prime, and with a black belt in jiu-jitsu and hands honed in past sparring sessions with Tyson Fury, he can handle himself wherever the fight goes. Keep an eye on him.

5 – Francisco Trinaldo
UFC Fight Island: Francisco Trinaldo TKOs Herbert
UFC Fight Island: Francisco Trinaldo TKOs Herbert
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Francisco Trinaldo gets a stunning 3rd-round TKO win on Fight Island


Youth is wonderful and it’s not out of line to call combat sports a place for young men and women. But then 41-year-old Francisco Trinaldo pulls off a victory out of nowhere against Jai Herbert on Saturday, and if you’re of a certain age, you smile, and say, “Yeah, he’s still got it.” Will Trinaldo ever win a world championship in the UFC? Not likely, but he’s always a fun watch and a tough out for anyone. That’s worth something.