Whittaker all set for much-awaited UFC return

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

Māori UFC fighter Robert Whittaker returns to the octagon this Sunday in a step that is sure to delight fans.

The fight against England's Darren Till is the first for former middleweight champion, Robert "The Reaper" Whittaker, since he lost the title to NZ's Israel Adesanya at UFC 243 in October.

There were attempts to get him back into the octagon earlier this year but family duties meant Whittaker turned down the opportunity. 

Nine-and-half months later, refreshed from his break from the rigour of daily training and gym work, he is "hungry" to get back at it. 

"The Reaper" gets his main event return. Source: Facebook.com/UFC

“I’ve been hungry. That break I had was exactly what I needed. It lit a fire in me, it brought back the happiness and enjoyment in what I do," Whittaker told ESPN 14 in a pre-fight interview reported by MMA Junkie.

The Ngāpuhi fighter will be looking to make his way back to the upper echelon of his already stacked division to reclaim the title from Adesanya.

His opponent will have his own plans though. Till's most recent victory, in which he jumped up a weight class to middleweight, was over Kelvin Gastelum, who Adesanya also beat on his path to the title.

The fight which is being held in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates is this Sunday from 12pm on ESPN's UFC Fight Night.

Till makes his middleweight debut. Source: Facebook.com/UFC Canada