In the headliner of UFC Vegas 36, we saw a battle of top ten middleweights. Derek Brunson (22-7) was looking to continue his winning streak as he took on the popular Darren Till (18-3-1).
Brunson was looking for his fifth straight win in the UFC today. His career really started to turn around when he made the move to Sanford MMA a couple of years ago.
Back in 2018, Brunson was knocked out by Israel Adesanya. However, since that knockout loss, Brunson has rattled off four consecutive wins including wins over Ian Heinisch, Edmen Shahbazyan, and Kevin Holland.
Standing in his way today was Darren Till. A few years ago, Till was unbeaten and looked like he was going to be a UFC welterweight champion. He got his shot at the 170 pound title in 2018. However, since that fight, he’s just 1-3.
After a knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal, Till moved up to middleweight. He won his first fight against Kelvin Gastelum, but lost a decision to Robert Whittaker last July. He’s been out win injuries since then which has caused the longest layoff in his UFC career.
UFC Vegas 36 Recap
The UFC Vegas 36 main event started with a touch of the gloves. Immediate pressure from Darren Till who was looking for his strikes. Sharp left up the middle lands for Till and it forces a sloppy shot from Brunson.
Till shrugs him off and they’re back to striking. Brunson biting hard on the feints of Till early and he eats another crisp left hand. 1-2 down the middle for Till forces a Derek Brunson takedown attempt and Brunson gets Till down.
Brunson immediately works to half guard and starts working on some elbows. Heavy top pressure here from Derek Brunson who’s doing a good job of holding Till down. Big shots land for Brunson. Brunson postures up and blasts Till with more big shots.
Huge elbow lands from Brunson on a damaged eye of Darren Till. Brunson is all over Till here. After a few more big shots, Till is able to force a scramble and he gets back up. The round comes to a close and it’s 1-0 Brunson at UFC Vegas 36.
Entering the second here at UFC Vegas 36 and Darren Till has to keep the fight standing. The second round starts with a sloppy shot from Brunson and Till is able to defend. Looping left from Till misses and Brunson uses it to get a body lock.
He tries hard, but Till is able to defend the takedown nicely at first. The two settle into a clinch along the cage. Till separates, but Brunson immediately shoots again. Again, Till is able to defend the takedown and the two separate.
Nice uppercut lands for Derek Brunson and he chains it into a takedown attempt and is once again able to get Till down. Brunson settles into the half guard, but in this round there’s not a lot of ground strikes being thrown.
The referee looks like he might be looking at standing this up and Brunson throws an elbow to stay active. The control of Brunson has been dominating so far through two rounds. The round comes to a close and it’s easily 2-0 Brunson at UFC Vegas 36.
Entering the third here at UFC Vegas 36 and it’s starting to look like Till needs a miracle. Till tries to open with strikes, but he’s really far out of range. Nice left lands for Till, but it didn’t appear to land enough to hurt Brunson.
Low kick lands for Till and when Brunson goes for a clinch, he lands a knee. Brunson tries to push forward, but Till keeps him away. Another good knee lands for Till. Till hurts Brunson and he’s wobbly.
Till pushes forward, but he’s a bit off-balance. He’s overaggressive and Brunson gets a takedown. Till tries to scramble and Brunson ends up in mount. When Till tries to move, Brunson takes his back. Almost immediately he locks in a rear naked choke and Till taps.
Derek Brunson def. Darren Till by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) – Round 3