The UFC’s time on Fight Island comes to an end with a 15-fight card headlined by Robert Whittaker and Darren Till. Cageside Press has its picks set for UFC Fight Island 3.

Staff Writers
Chimaev vs. McKee
Oliveira vs. Sobotta
Craig vs. Antigulov
Esparza vs. Rodriguez
Werdum vs. Gustafsson
Rua vs. Nogueira
Whittaker vs. Till
Ryan Fortune (73-31)
Keith Shillan (70-34)
Jay Anderson (63-41)
Joe McDonagh (60-44)
Mike McClory (31-24)
Josh Evanoff (58-46)
Dan Doherty (54-45)
Gabriel Gonzalez (55-46)
Eddie Law (38-34)
Dylan Bowker (47-43)
Justin Gibbons (35-33)
Ryan Jarrell (24-24)

The main event (and seventh main card fight) of UFC Fight Island 3 is a great middleweight matchup between Robert Whittaker and Darren Till. This will be Whittaker’s first appearance since losing the middleweight belt to Israel Adesanya in October 2019. For Till, he’ll be looking to improve to 2-0 since moving up to middleweight. Whittaker was unanimously picked.

The co-main event is a legend’s circuit matchup as Shogun Rua battles Antonio Rogerio Nogueira for the third time. Rua won the first two bouts and is 4-1-1 in his last six fights. Nogueira has struggled more, going 2-4 in his last six. All but two writers picked Shogun.

Alexander Gustafsson returns from retirement to battle Fabricio Werdum. It will be Gustafsson’s first fight at heavyweight and his first appearance since June 2019. Without mincing words, Werdum has looked bad in his last two fights, losing to Aleksei Oleinik and Alexander Volkov. Gustafsson was unanimously picked.

Former champion (there are four on this card) Carla Esparza looks to keep her streak alive against Marina Rodriguez. Esparza has won three straight fights with a controversial decision against Michelle Waterson being the latest. Rodriguez has an odd 2-0-2 record in the UFC with an impressive win over Tecia Torres. Esparza was slightly favored with seven picks to five.

Paul Craig looks to get back in the win column against Gadzhimurad Antigulov. Craig fought to a draw with Shogun Rua last time out and alternated wins and losses in his five fights prior. Antigulov has fought once a year since signing with the UFC in 2016 and has lost his last two fights after winning his first two. Craig was picked by eight of 12 writers.

Peter Sobotta steps into the Octagon for the first time since 2018 against Alex Oliveira. Sobotta debuted with the promotion in 2014 and is 4-2 since then. Oliveira recently snapped a three-fight losing streak with a decision over Max Griffin. All but three writers picked Cowboy Oliveira.

Opening up the seven-fight main card is rising star Khamzat Chimaev welcoming highly-touted prospect Rhys McKee to the Octagon. Chimaev blew people away in his debut just 10 days ago and earned his “Khabib 2.0” nickname. McKee is a Cage Warriors standout and has finished all 10 of his career wins. Chimaev was unanimously picked.

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