26-Year-Old UFC Welterweight 16-0-1
June 13, 2018 Darren Till News
RotoWire Fantasy Analysis
Till told Chamatkar Sandhu of ESPN UK that he intends to remain in the welterweight division.
Till may have beaten the UFC's No. 1-ranked welterweight contender in Stephen Thompson last May, but there's a black mark on that victory due to the fact he missed weight by 3.5 pounds. In the days following the win, a video was released that detailed Till's excruciating weight cut, sparking a conversation across social media about the dangers of weight cutting to this degree. Till asserts that the cut was not as bad as it was portrayed in the video, and denies the implication that he lost vision for a brief period of time while running on the treadmill. To combat this problem moving forward (and remain at welterweight), Till plans to accept an invitation to the UFC Performance Institute in Las Vegas to expand his education when it comes to nutrition. Furthermore, his bank account is in a much better shape after the high-profile fight, which will allow him the freedom to make additional modifications to his diet and even hire a nutritionist if he choses. Till is a young, marketable fighter that can help the UFC maintain a steady presence in the European market, so it it appears Dana White and company will give the 170-pounder at least one more chance to compete in his desired division.
Darren Till: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Fantasy AnalysisThis wasn't the most exciting fight, but that speaks to the skills of both fighters. Both were so talented that the neither could land big shots. Till had to try to figure out Thompson's elusive style, and had a hard time figuring out "Wonderboy's" movement. He was able to do a significant amount of damage to Thompson's leg, and even landed a big shot in the fifth round that dropped "Wonderboy." The puzzling part about this fight is Till would walk Thompson down and cut off the Octagon, but once Thompson's back hit the cage Till would stop coming forward and allow him to escape. "Wonderboy" is so elusive that the best way to do damage would be to trap him against the cage. However, Till's forward pressure, damage to "Wonderboy's" leg, and knockdown in the fifth was enough to sway the judges. Till did a great job in this fight of not recklessly chasing "Wonderbody" and running into a big counter shot that would have finished his night. After a victory over the number one ranked fighter in the division, Till has the possibility of receiving a title shot in his next fight.
Fantasy AnalysisTill missed weight by 3.5 pounds during Saturday's weigh-in, and as part of the deal negotiated with Thompson's management team, Till couldn't weigh more than 188 pounds when entering the arena Sunday. He was able to hit that mark and will officially compete in his native Liverpool, though it remains to be seen how what was essentially a second weight cut on fight day will affect him upon entering the octagon. Till is a large fighter for the 170-pound division, and is rumored to walk around north of the 200-pound mark, though that isn't necessarily uncommon for this weight class. He stacks up almost equivalent to Thompson in terms of measurements, however, as the two fighters both stand at 6-0, with Till actually conceding a one-inch reach advantage to Thompson. As of early Sunday morning, Till remains a slight betting underdog for the main event against the promotion's No. 1 welterweight contender.
Fantasy AnalysisTill must forfeit 30 percent of his purse to Thompson, as well as any post-fight bonuses that he may earn. Furthermore, Thompson's team wanted to prevent Till from entering advantageously heavy on fight night, so he will weigh in tomorrow and cannot exceed 188 pounds. Should he miss that mark, the terms of the fight would need to be renegotiated. The unique development seems to have moved the betting odds back in favor of Thompson -- who now sits as a slight favorite of (-125) -- though it's still close to a pick'em in most sportsbooks. Till has only missed weight in one prior occasion, and blamed this particular instance on a family emergency, so it's unlikely he'll be forced to move up in weight any time soon. It remains to be seen how the multiple distractions will affect him on fight night.
Fantasy AnalysisThis fight has been speculated since November, shortly after Till turned heads with a KO victory over UFC veteran Donald Cerrone. Even though Till has just five UFC fights to his name, the England native will get a huge opportunity in his home country, where the crowd will be heavily behind him. A year ago Till was a relative unknown, but he could get into the title conversation if he manages to pull another huge upset. He'll have to overcome the tremendous karate and kickboxing skills of Thompson, however, which is no easy task.
Fantasy AnalysisLate Tuesday evening, Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times reported that UFC President Dana White said announced that the Florida event had been moved to England so that Till could could have his home town crowd behind him for a fight against Stephen Thompson. It would have been a giant stepping stone for the up-and-coming Till, as upsetting an elite fighter like Wonderboy would almost certainly bank him a title shot. It's Thompson's camp that doesn't see eye-to-eye with the UFC President, however. First, they are not certain they will be medically ready to fight at that date, but more importantly, they claim to have yet to be approached about the proposed matchup. It sounds like paperwork has yet to be signed, and what would be an excellent fight is still several steps away from becoming official.
Fantasy AnalysisThe fight was originally slated to be held in Orlando, but Dana White has opted shift it over to England with the hope of drawing an even larger crowd. That will allow Till to fight in his home country, while also drawing the two-time title challenger Thompson, which was the exact fight Till was hoping for. Boasting an undefeated record of 16-0 (one draw), the rising English welterweight is coming off an impressive knockout of Donald Cerrone in Round 1 of UFC Fight Night 118, but will certainly have his hands full against against the No. 2-ranked welterweight, Wonderboy Thompson.
Fantasy AnalysisTill never gave Cerrone a moment to breathe, staying in tight to the kickboxer and landing hard shots. The beginning of the end came when Till landed a step-in elbow while the two were along the fence line before finishing with strikes on the ground. Till came into the fight with nine of his 15 wins coming by KO/TKO, but this was the first time we were shown his finishing ability at the highest level since his second-round stoppage of Wendell de Oliveira Marques in his UFC debut in 2015. The night ended with Till and Mike Perry screaming at each other from across the arena, and while that matchup would almost certainly be a barnburner, Perry is currently signed to fight Santiago Ponzinibbio in December, meaning the 24-year-old will likely need to set his sights elsewhere. In any event, Till took a huge scalp in just his fifth UFC fight and did it very convincingly, which should set him up quite nicely going forward. He remains undefeated in his professional career with a record of 16-0-1.
Fantasy AnalysisTill is 3-0-1 in the UFC and 15-0-1 overall, but Cerrone is easily his toughest challenge to date. The 24-year-old is an intriguing prospect, though he may be in a bit over his head in this main-event matchup. Till was impressive in his last fight against Bojan Velickovic, scoring knockdowns in Rounds 1 and 3. One critique that stood out, however, was his willingness to absorb leg kicks -- 16 of Velickovic's 34 significant strikes landed came via the leg kick. He'll have to fix this aspect of his game for the Cerrone matchup, as Cowboy is well known throughout MMA for having some of the nastiest leg kicks in the business. Cerrone can go high, low and to the body with his kicks, as well as use them to set up combinations. Simply put, it would be shocking if Till were able to pull out a victory here. The young Liverpool native asked for a big fight, and boy, did he get it.
Fantasy AnalysisTill is an interesting fighter. He only fights in spurts, but when he does he is very effective. In the first and third rounds of this fight, he closed the distance and landed knockout blows. He was clearly ahead of his opponent in terms of striking. However, Till spent a lot of time standing in front of his opponent eating leg kicks. He certainly has a future in the UFC welterweight division, but he will need to learn to put away fighters when he has such a big lead. He improves to 15-0-1 as a professional and 3-0-1 in the UFC.
Fantasy AnalysisThis will be the first bout of Till's newly signed five-fight deal with the UFC. He is most recently coming off a dominate outing at UFC Fight Night 109 against Jessin Ayari that followed an 18-month period of recovering from shoulder surgery. He won that fight via unanimous decision in May and will look to continue to build on his 2-0-1 UFC record in September.
Fantasy AnalysisDespite coming in a whopping six pounds over the welterweight limit, Till was able to dominate this fight from start to finish. In the striking, he had a huge advantage. Ayari allowed Till to control the distance and the pace of the fight. If anything, Till should have turned up the volume and thrown more strikes. There were several moments when Ayari was hurt, and it looked like Till could have finished him with flurry. Till is now 2-0-1 after three fights in the UFC.
Fantasy AnalysisTill hasn't been in the Octagon for nearly two years, last fighting Nicolas Dalby to a draw in 2015. The British fighter is 13-0-1 professionally and 1-0-1 in the UFC. While Till has won most of his fights by knockout (9), his opponent Ayari has won eight of his fights by submission, winning his last fight in September against Jim Wallhead by split decision.
Fantasy AnalysisIt's not often that a majority draw is the right call, but it was in this case. Till totally dominated the first two rounds, battering Dalby on the feet and keeping him completely off balance. The third round was a totally different story. The only reason that Till survived the final five minutes were because of his chin and the two judges who scored the third round 10-8 for Dalby were correct in their scoring. Till said in his post-fight interview that he dislocated his left shoulder during the bout. At just 22-years old, Till has a ton of potential.
Fantasy AnalysisA good looking UFC debut for Till. The first round was fairly even but Till managed to get on top of Oliveira in the second and he proceeded to rain down left elbows until Oliveira was out cold. The 22-year-old is confident, bordering on cocky and he looks to have some real potential. Even if Till doesn't turn out to be a great fighter, he definitely has an intriguing personality.