Derek Brunson vs. Darren Till Odds, Pick & Prediction: 2 Ways to Play Saturday’s UFC Main Event (Sept. 4)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC. Pictured: Opponents Derek Brunson and Darren Till face off during the UFC Fight Night weigh-in.
Derek Brunson vs. Darren Till Odds
Two top middleweights face off in an incredible UFC main event matchup this weekend. Fan-favorite Darren “The Gorilla” Till, once thought to be the next big European star, will battle the streaking Derek Brunson, who has looked excellent in his recent fights, despite being 37 years old.
This five-round fight should be competitive and many think that Till could compete for a title at 185-pounds, including current champion Israel Adesanya.
So which fighter has the edge in Saturday’s main event? I’ll break down the matchup below.
Tale of the Tape
|Avg. Fight Time||8:21||13:50|
|Weight (pounds)||185 lbs.||185 lbs.|
|Date of birth||1/4/84||12/24/92|
|Sig Strikes Per Min||3.46||2.27|
|SS Absorbed Per Min||2.72||2.99|
|Take Down Avg||3.11||0.54|
Till was impressively undefeated for the first three years of his UFC career, mostly at welterweight, and eventually had to move to 185 because of his massive frame. After defeating Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in a decision win, he faced off against then-champion Tyron Woodley.
Woodley dominated that fight from start to finish, so much so that Till didn’t register one significant strike nine minutes of action. That fight significantly halted Till’s momentum — he was too young to jump in and face Woodley and the weight cut really depleted his body.
Till has had two fights at middleweight since. He won a close split-decision against Kelvin Gastelum and was easily out-struck by Robert Whittaker in a decision loss. The keyword there is decision; Till used to rely heavily on his knockout power at welterweight and there are legitimate concerns about his power translating against larger opponents.
On the other side of the matchup, Brunson has shown off his takedown prowess recently. Brunson’s past two opponents, Kevin Holland and Edmen Shahbazyan have nearly non-existent takedown defense. I would not expect that to continue in this fight as Till has much better defensive grappling than either of those two fighters.
Brunson vs. Till Pick
Brunson will want to tire Till out and win the fight as it goes into the deeper rounds. He will need to utilize the clinch and grappling to drain Till’s gas tank. If he does not accomplish this, Till profiles as a much better striker who should easily win the striking battle.
I don’t like a bet on either fighter’s moneyline — if you are looking to bet Brunson, the only way to play it would be to live bet it after Round 1. If he does survive the first round, his chances of winning increase dramatically.
Till has lost one decision fight in his career, against the current middleweight title challenger Whittaker and Brunson profiles as a significant step down in competition in comparison.
Dana White is definitely giving Till an easier matchup this time out. If Till wins this fight, I would expect him to face off against Jared Cannonier or Marvin Vettori before getting a shot at the title.
Both fighters had their most recent fights go to a decision and I would expect a similar outcome in this fight. Brunson has had three of his four fights go to a decision, so his average fight time of just 8:21 is mostly on the back of his earlier career fights.
The over 2.5 rounds prop is set at -118 on PointsBet and I would play that up to -135, but there’s more value on other props. The fight to go the distance is set at +150 on PointsBet, which is also a very solid line (implied odds of 40%). I actually predicted this line would be closer to be closer to a pick’em at -115, so I think there is significant value there.
I will also play Till to win this fight by decision at +350. If it gets out of the first round, we should be heading for a decision based on their styles and I think it is very likely that Till picks up the victory with his creative striking tendencies.
The Pick: Fight goes the distance +150 | Till wins via decision +350