In a battle for the number two spot in the welterweight rankings, british star Darren “The Gorilla” Till fights veteran Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal. A highly anticipated matchup, this could end up being a barn burner or a slow paced fight.


Darren Till the fighter has been lately overshadowed by his own persona. Overestimated by some, underestimated by many, he is nonetheless a fantastic fighter. After entering the UFC with a perfect 12-0, he quietly improved and worked his way to a star making performance taking out overmatched Donald Cerrone in one round. He then got caught and finished in a championship fight against Woodley after outpointing Wonderboy Thompson in a high level chess match. Till is a striker. There is no other way around it. He wants the fight on the feet where he feels comfortable and confident in his skills, power and size. He is a gigantic welterweight that has had trouble making the weight in the past but appeared to make it safely last time out after hiring a nutritionist. Till has 12 finishes in 17 fights, but he does not overcommit searching for knockouts. His striking approach is cerebral most of the time, until he sees an opening or hurts the opponent. He is kind of a “attacking counterpuncher” with a Muay Thai base and very good hands. Not your clasical boxer. He tries to drive opponents to the fence by pressuring them with his imposing figure, pawing with the jab to lure them into throwing and making an error. He also posseses a poweful left kick to the body and head. When he is not marching forward he spends most of the time counterpunching with his left hand, which is quite poweful and he uses as a straigth shot most of the time. His timing and sense of distance is excellent. I consider him an elite striker. His grappling has been a cause of concern for some. He looked lost last time on the ground against Woodley, even though we must consider he had been badly hurt and was eating bombs. His chin seems to be great judging by that fight. He ate shots that would have put away the vast majority of the welterweights with no issue. Before that, Woodley had been unable to secure any takedown in the first round, even though he tried to. Till looked comfortable in the clinch and against most welterweights I suspect he is gonna be very hard to take down unless we are talking elite chain wrestlers like Ben Askren. As everyone, he can be susceptible to reactive takedowns, Cerrone landed one, but pops just back up. He is just too big to manipulate for most in this division unless we are talking specialists.


Enter Jorge Masvidal. A true veteran of the fight game, he has been fighting all his life. First on the streets, then as a professional. Masvidal seems the type of guy who maybe has underachieved in his career. He just appeared to not give a fuck in his early days, but he has always been hugely talented. He is just a natural, who happens to like eating and partying too much. In the last years he seems to have put it all together almost, with much more mature performances but he is entering this contest after a fairly long layoff. Very competent wherever the fight goes, Masvidal is no easy task for anybody. He is one of the best boxers of the division and has an iron chin. His only knockout loss was a very debatable stoppage in his early days as a pro. He is also a very competent grappler, both with his takedowns and his submission game, but he mostly prefers to stay on his feet and try his luck there. Much more experienced than Till, he has shared the octagon with quite a number of very good fighters, a lot of times coming short or ending on the wrong side of disputed decisions because of his lack of urgency during fights, which has been a cause of concern all the way throughout his career.

Enter Jorge Masvidal. A true veteran of the fight game, he has been fighting all his life. First on the streets, then as a professional. Masvidal seems the type of guy who maybe has underachieved in his career. He just appeared to not give a fuck in his early days, but he has always been hugely talented. He is just a natural, who happens to like eating and partying too much. In the last years he seems to have put it all together almost, with much more mature performances but he is entering this contest after a fairly long layoff. Very competent wherever the fight goes, Masvidal is no easy task for anybody. He is one of the best boxers of the division and has an iron chin. His only knockout loss was a very debatable stoppage in his early days as a pro. He is also a very competent grappler, both with his takedowns and his submission game, but he mostly prefers to stay on his feet and try his luck there. Much more experienced than Till, he has shared the octagon with quite a number of very good fighters, a lot of times coming short or ending on the wrong side of disputed decisions because of his lack of urgency during fights, which has been a cause of concern all the way throughout his career.


How is this fight gonna play out? Primarily on the feet, maybe entirely. Unless Jorge Masvidal decides to mix in some takedown attemps, this is gonna be a striking battle. If Darren Till shoots a takedown in this fight I will be astonished. He would have to be hurt or exhausted to do so. I think Till has the advantadge here with his power, size and reach to comfortably outpoint Masvidal. To win this fight, Masvidal will need to either force a very high pace to take Till out late or fight an intelligent fight mixing in some takedowns and top control as he is the superior ground fighter to steal rounds. The way to go for Masvidal top ut Till down if he decides to try it will be single leg takedowns. He will also probably try to implement his left low kick to the lead leg of Till. It is not an easy technique to do for a right handed fighter but he does it masterfully and with quite some power. He used it quite effectively against the much more mobile Stephen Thompson and I suspect Till will offer him a much easier target. I will be surprised if Till stops Masvidal. He is not overly agressive and even though he can certainly hurt him due to sheer size I just do not see Jorge being taken out here. I suspect Masvidal is gonna fight as he always does, and he is gonna be outpointed over the course of five rounds. This could turn into a war very early, but will probably be a fairly slow paced fight. We must also not forget the fight taking place in London could favour Till in the judges scorecards in case of a very close fight. Nevertheless I think he is gonna win a hard fought but clear decision over the always game Masvidal. The pick here is Darren Till to win on points.