UFC booking headliner between Darren Till and Derek Brunson

The UFC is making moves tonight and they’ve finalized another headliner for August. Dana White told ESPN’s Brett Okamoto this evening that the promotion has finalized a middleweight headliner between Darren Till (18-3-1) and Derek Brunson (22-7).

The matchup will take place on August 14th. This is the second middleweight main event that the promotion has finalized. It was also just reported that Paulo Costa and Jared Cannonier would headline a Fight Night the following week. 

This headlining spot is huge for Derek Brunson. Brunson has been a bit of a Gate Keeper for the UFC‘s middleweight division over the last year and a half. First, Brunson was tasked with taking on Ian Heinisch when he was a surging contender.

Brunson dispatched of Heinisch. Then, the UFC had Brunson take on The Golden Boy, Edmen Shahbazyan. Shahbazyan was being looked at as the next big thing, but again, Brunson was able to stop the hype train.

Then, the UFC had Brunson take on Kevin Holland in March. Holland went a perfect 5-0 in 2020 and looked like someone the promotion was really going to push. Well, Brunson dominated the fight to win his fourth straight.

After beating top prospects, Brunson is finally getting a crack at a big name and in a big spot. Darren Till has a ton of name recognition and a win over Till puts Brunson squarely in the title picture.

UFC return for Till

Darren Till was supposed to headline a card last month with Marvin Vettori. However, shortly before fight week, Till broke his collarbone and was forced out of the fight. Kevin Holland stepped in to take his place.

We haven’t seen Till since the UFC’s first trip to Fight Island. Last July, Till fought former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker. Till was able to hurt Whittaker early in that fight, but ultimately Whittaker got the decision victory.

This main event in August will be just the third middleweight fight for Darren Till in the UFC. After struggling for years to make 170, Till moved up to 185 to start fresh. He’s gone 1-1 so far with his win coming against Kelvin Gastelum.