A Pair of middleweights top the marquee in las vegas with the latest edition of UFC Fight Night on Top for as much as Darren till is considered one of the best 185- pound fighters in the world and legitimate contender to the UFC, His recent track record can paint a deceiving picture.
Even Till’s return on Saturday, headlining UFC Fight Night against Derek Brunson (22-7) at the Apex in Las Vegas, was forced off its original date (Aug. 14) and location when COVID-19 protocols in London forced UFC brass to move the card stateside.
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Yet despite his many setbacks and hurdles to get to this point, the 28-year-old Till remains determined he will still fulfill his dreams of one day holding a UFC title and remains undaunted by how much he might need to endure in order to evolve to the point where he’s ready to do so.
It reminds me a lot of when Dom Cruz was having all those setbacks and injuries. You’ve just got to come through them,” Till said during Wednesday’s media conference. “Here I am, a few days before it and I’m a very happy man. It has been a test. I think every fight, we have injuries and we just have to get through it.
Fight card, odds
* Darren Till -175 vs. Derek Brunson +150, middleweights
* Tom Aspinall -230 vs. Serghei Spivac +190, heavyweights
* Alex Morono -125 vs. David Zawada +105, welterweights
* Modestas Bukauskas -170 vs. Khalil Rountree Jr. +145, light heavyweights
* Paddy Pimblett -155 vs. Luigi Vendramini +130, lightweights
UFC Fight Night viewing information
Date: Sept. 4 | Start time: 4 p.m. ET
Location: UFC Apex — Las Vegas
TV Channel/Stream: ESPN+
Should you fail to take the wrestling and gas tank of Brunson seriously, even at his advanced age, his current win streak is proof enough that the veteran can surprise you. Just don’t expect someone as big and skilled as Till to succumb so easily.
Although the odds are close in this fight given the recent won/loss records of both, this is the kind of challenge Till should win. While staying off his back will be paramount toward Till’s success, he proved in a recent loss to Whittaker just how improved his striking and control of distance are when matched up on the elite level.
Despite the loss, Till forced Whittaker into fighting on his terms by slowing down the pace and disarming his opponent with heavy counter shots. Both competitors were dropped in the early rounds and even though Whittaker rallied to barely edge Till by scores of 48-47 on all three cards, he succeeded in routinely stuffing Whittaker’s takedown attempts.