If you’re not familiar with British UFC welterweight prospect Darren Till, get ready to watch one of the UK’s most exciting young MMA talents.
The Brit has taken the road less traveled during a career that saw him leave his home town of Liverpool five years ago to start a new life in Brazil after being stabbed twice at a party in his home town.
Now he’s set for the biggest stage of his career as he steps into the octagon to face a bona-fide UFC legend in the main event of UFC Fight Night 118 in Gdansk, Poland.
Till takes on fan favorite Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in a bout that, on paper at least, can’t possibly fail to deliver. Both men are relentless, come-forward fighters with a similar "anyone, any time, any place" attitude.
The difference between the two is notoriety – everyone knows Cerrone, while Till remains a prospect who to many still flies under the radar.
Irrespective of the result on Saturday night in Poland, that certainly won’t be the case.
Till, like Cerrone, is a ferocious competitor with an excellent Muay Thai-based striking game backed up by sound submission fundamentals. In many ways, Till is younger version of Cerrone himself.
The Brit is also a huge welterweight. Just this week in Gdansk, UFC featherweight Andre Fili described him as looking like a light-heavyweight.
And with a powerful striking game and a seemingly unshakable belief in his abilities, don’t be surprised to see Till take the fight to his more experienced opponent on fight night.
The Brit has the best chance of victory early on, where his power will be at its highest. Body kicks in particular could prove the key for Till, with the knowledge that Cerrone has been hurt to the body in past fights.
But the longer the fight goes on, the more the advantage should swing towards the veteran. Cerrone has seen it all inside the octagon and knows how to break down opponents of all styles. Leg kicks in particular could prove a useful weapon for "Cowboy," with Till adopting a wide stance that leaves him open to kicks to his front leg.
If the fight ends early, my money’s on Darren Till getting the finish. But if the fight goes the distance, I think Cerrone’s experience over the later rounds will see him through to a victory on the scorecards.
Regardless of the final result, we are in for a cracker of a contest.
+375: Darren Till to win by KO/TKO
+333: Donald Cerrone to win on points