Darren Till has looked more and more impressive as he continues to add up the victories in the UFC welterweight division since making his debut in May 2015. His excellent record of 15-0-1 coupled with his exciting kickboxing style means he has been gathering more fans every time he fights, but on October 21 he faces by far his toughest opponent to date in sixth-ranked ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone in the main event of UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland. Till has to prove his worth not just to the fans, but to the rest of his division.
On a roll
In his last UFC outing, ‘The Gorilla’ defeated fellow Welterweight Bojan Veličković via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 115 in what was a great display of counter-striking and ring control, coaxing his Serbian opponent into the path of plenty hard counter left hands and several vicious elbows to the head using his wide stance and teasing head movement. This was his first fight out of a new five-fight contract with the UFC, and the ever-confident Till has promised he will be a UFC Champion before this contract is up. Despite only fighting under the UFC banner on four occasions, many believe Till’s accomplishments outside of the organization speak for what he can achieve going forward, having begun his Professional Muay Thai career aged only 15, and becoming the European K-1 Champion several years later.
Full of confidence
Despite Donald Cerrone being loved by fans of the sport for his consistent toughness in the cage and relatively quick turnarounds between fights, underdog Darren Till boasts many of the same attributes. Although ‘Cowboy’ has had more than double the number of fights throughout his professional MMA career, it is Till, at ten years younger, who has more knockout victories to his name with an impressive 60% of his wins coming via KO. Although he boasts a background in high-level striking, Till’s ground game is not to be ignored either. In his UFC debut against Wendell De Oliveira, he finished the fight using vicious elbows from top half-guard knocking the BJJ brown belt out in the second round of the bout. He again showed his comfort on the ground at several stages in his fight with Bojan Velickovic, in particular on one occasion when he began shaking his head and laughing to the crowd as his opponent threw desperate punches from bottom guard, showing his control over his opponent and his strength to on the ground.
This is undoubtedly Darren Till’s big shot to make his name known amongst the top welterweights in the world, and if he were to lose this fight, it would likely be a long time before he was offered an opponent as high-profile as ‘Cowboy’ again. Despite this, the unranked Englishman insists he is not phased by the hype surrounding anyone he fights, claiming
I don’t care about his name, I just want to go out there and knock him out.
UFC Fight Night 118: Cerrone vs Till will take place in the Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland on Saturday, October 21 with #3 ranked strawweight Karolina Kowalkiewicz taking on UFC newcomer and former Invicta fighter Jodie Esquibel in the co-main event.
Does Darren Till have what it takes to defeat Donald Cerrone?
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