In this Saturday’s main event, we have an exciting welterweight match-up between former title challenger and #3 ranked Darren Till vs #11 ranked, Jorge Masvidal.
We last saw Darren Till at UFC 228, when he fought former-champion Tyron Woodley and lost by second-round submission. Previous to that, Darren Till had fought Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson in the main event of UFC Liverpool, back in May of 2018. In that fight, Till fought Wonderboy through 25 minutes of competition, to eventually win by unanimous decision.
We last saw Jorge Masvidal at UFC 217, when he fought Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson through 15 minutes, eventually losing the fight by unanimous decision. Prior to that, Masvidal had fought Demian Maia at UFC 211, where he fought through 15 minutes of competition, eventually losing the fight by split decision.
Right now, Darren Till is sitting as a -240 Favorite over Jorge Masvidal, who is currently sitting as a +210 Underdog.
Now let’s jump right some analysis:
First of all, I want to say, I think this is the perfect fight for Darren Till’s return. He is fighting an orthodox striker in Masvidal, a fighter who mainly wants to stand-and-bang. Also, another thing about Masvidal is, this guy is a straight brawler. I remember watching him on YouTube many years ago, against the late Kimbo Slice. Masvidal isn’t afraid of anybody, although Masvidal has dropped his last two fights, against a very high-level BJJ specialist in Maia and another top-tier striker in Wonderboy.
Luckily for Masvidal, Till just wants to stand-and-bang. He won’t have to worry about being taken down or having a guy wrapped around his back, like in the Maia fight. Although he did have a lot of trouble with Wonderboy and Wonderboy had trouble with Till. Till caught Wonderboy with a sharp left hand in the fifth round, which dropped him. Till almost had a late finish, it didn’t happen but he came close. And over the years, it has been proven that it’s extremely difficult to catch Wonderboy like that. He is very evasive with his movement.
I think that a huge factor in this fight will be Till’s pressure and his confidence to go with it. Till has expressed many times that he feels he is one of the best strikers in the world, if not the overall best. He always wants to challenge himself against the best competition because he feels that he is truly on that level, which really complements his skill-set. Till looked like he had a laser-focus vs Wonderboy and his striking was looking good, too. He needs to bring that same energy into this fight on Saturday.
Masvidal fought a very hesitant fight against Wonderboy, he didn’t really look like his usual self in there. He didn’t appear to have that killer instinct mentality like he usually does when approaching fights. I don’t know what it was but it just seemed like Masvidal couldn’t really get anything going. The best of Masvidal seemed to show when he started mixing his wrestling with the striking exchanges. There were moments in the fight where he would look like he was attempting a takedown but then change it up with strikes. At one point, Masvidal had Wonderboy pressed against the cage and he was landing shots. This is the kind of fight that Till needs to be careful of getting into.
I do believe that if Till can fight his fight and apply pressure early, he takes this fight with ease. Till’s confidence and his weight cut will play major factors into this, in my opinion. If Till has a steady, successful weight cut that goes according to plan, I believe that we will see him in full-form. And Masvidal, at his best, plays the exact game that Till shines most at. A brawl. This is the kind of fight that Tyron Woodley basically avoided by striking early on and finishing Till on the ground via submission. Nobody wants to get into a brawl with Till but I believe that Masvidal might just fall right into the trap. He is 0-2 in his last two fights and in spite of that, I believe we will see Masvidal come out with a lot of aggression. Masvidal may come out looking for the finish early on, only to get caught by that vicious left hand that Till possesses. Till will be welcoming the action from the start, looking to put on a spectacular performance in his home country of the UK.
I won’t predict a finish for Till in this one because I have to show the proper respect to Masvidal, a guy who has only been knocked out once in his 45-fight career, dating all the way back to 2008, when he lost to Rodrigo Damm by second-round TKO.
With all that being said, I will be taking Darren Till to win this fight by unanimous decision after 25 minutes of competition.