The welterweight championship is one the line this Saturday as Darren Till looks to become the second British UFC champion as he looks to overcome the current champion Tyron Woodley.
The North American region appears to be quiet in the build up to this fight however, over this side of the world, it has been palpable particularly in the city of Liverpool.
Having watched one of their own in Paddy Pimblett fall short at this weekend, Liverpudlians and indeed the rest of the United Kingdom will be hoping that one of their own can become a world champion.
The comparisons between Till and Conor McGregor are certainly doing the rounds and it’s not difficult to understand why. It’s nothing to do with their style of fighting. If anything, they couldn’t be further from each other in terms of how they fight. It’s the undeniable cockiness that both men possess. Whatever about the big victories both have had, they have a way of convincing the public that they can rise to the top and sweep all before them.
The confidence is shared by Woodley who has been somewhat of a divisive figure for an unbeknownst reason since claiming the welterweight title. The champion has had a major chip on his shoulder and believes that he is being overlooked as one of the best the division has ever had to offer.
While many would argue against this point, it’s clear that both men have an appetite to succeed but who will leave the table suitably filled come Saturday night?
Tyron Woodley (18-3-1) is aiming to defend his belt for the fourth time and is currently riding a six fight unbeaten streak including a draw with Stephen Thompson.
Woodley has been an ever impressive fighter since joining the UFC but his improvements through each fight have been nothing short of fantastic and his adaptability to the various challenges in front of him has been a joy to behold.
There’s no doubting that Woodley has crisp boxing and the power to finish fights, however it’s his cardio that that really shines through and has managed to pick off opponents the longer each fight has gone on. Case in point, is the victory over Demian Maia when he systematically took him apart to earn an impressive unanimous decision victory in his last outing.
Woodley is used to facing technical strikers and has fought Stephen Thompson twice which is where we learned what “The Chosen One” has in his locker in terms of being able to quickly overcome adversity and nullify the main offence the likes of Thompson thrive upon.
Till offers something very similar to “Wonderboy” and has an extremely under rated kicking game that he may look to utilise against Woodley to keep him on the back foot.
Darren Till (17-0-1) has faced tough opposition in the past and was able to dispatch of Donald Cerrone and Stephen Thompson in back to back victories. However, his toughest challenge to date was his recent weight cut that are well documented and is the one elephant in the room surrounding this fight.
Till, like Woodley has been able to evolve his fighting style over time and despite finishing 10 of his opponents via KO/TKO he has been calculated and composed in his approach of late despite finishing Donald Cerrone inside one round last year.
Expect Till to have the reach advantage in the fight and look for him to keep Woodley at bay but on the flip side, Woodley has the experience of a championship title fight and his timing is impeccable diving in on takedowns which I expect Woodley to employ from the off in order to disrupt the flow of Till early on.
It’s such a fascinating battle of wills particularly in the mental approach to the fight. Both men are full of confidence and impeccable skills but Tyron Woodley has the experience and has been involved in some big tests that he has overcome with relative ease.
Tyron Woodley via decision