This past Saturday in the headliner of UFC Vegas 36, we saw a pivotal matchup in the middleweight division. Top ten contenders and title hopefuls battled it out as Derek Brunson (23-7) took on Darren Till (18-4-1).
Till was making just his third appearance in the UFC‘s middleweight division. The Gorilla started his career in MMA and with the UFC perfect. Till was a perfect 16-0-1 when he got his first title shot back in 2018.
Many would say he was rushed, but Till was ready to challenge for UFC gold. Ultimately, Till was overwhelmed by Tyron Woodley. After that loss, he was knocked out by Jorge Masvidal which caused him to move up in weight.
Till made his debut at middleweight with a win over Kelvin Gastelum. Last year, he lost a close decision to former UFC champion Robert Whittaker to drop him to 1-1 in the class. Saturday was his chance to prove he’s one of the best at 185.
However, the story of UFC Vegas 36 was about Derek Brunson and not about Darren Till. Till only had a few moments in the fight and was ultimately submitted in the third round by the relentless Brunson.
What’s next after UFC Vegas 36?
Darren Till is in a very interesting place after UFC Vegas 36. While he was competitive with Robert Whittaker, he wasn’t very competitive with Derek Brunson who just out-muscled Till for the majority of the fight.
After the loss, Till dropped to eighth in the middleweight division. The loss leaves questions about where Till goes from here. Till is now just 1-4 in his last five UFC fights after starting his career perfect.
Now, Michael Bisping said that Till supposedly tore his ACL ten weeks before the fight. However, after multiple fights fell through, Till didn’t want to pull out of this fight. The injury definitely didn’t help his ability on Saturday night.
The big question is what weight class should Till compete in moving forward. In my opinion, I still think he fits best as a big welterweight. His power plays way up in that weight class and he doesn’t have to worry as much about strength.
Then again, he cut a ton of weight to make 170 so 185 is much healthier. I’m not even sure on an opponent, but I think Till needs to take a step back and regroup. I think the UFC needs to be smart with who they book him against next.