UFC 228 Preview & Picks : Tyron Woodley vs Darren Till

After more than a year off, Tyron Woodley will return to the Octagon on Sept. 8 to take on rising British star Darren Till for the UFC Welterweight Title at UFC 228. The highly-anticipated fight will take place in Dallas at the American Airlines Center.

Woodley comes into the fight as the favorite (-135) and Till  is a +165 underdog.  Keep an eye on the odds for this fight and the other main card events on UFC 228 at BetDSI.eu

UFC 228

Woodley last defended his Welterweight Title more than a year ago in a successful bout against the ever-dangerous jujitsu black belt Demian Maia. That fight saw Woodley spending the bulk of the 25 minutes with his back against the cage, doing little more than defending against Maia’s takedowns. Woodley used the same game plan in his two previous title defenses against Stephen Thompson, winning each by very close decisions in extremely tactical fights, with little action from the fighters.

Tyron Woodley

Woodley was previously known as one of the most feared strikers in the UFC.  Possessing an extremely powerful overhand right, complimented by very good takedowns, and smothering top pressure, Woodley used those skills to cut a path to the belt, which he took from Robbie Lawler in a devastating first-round knockout on June 30th, 2016.  Since becoming champion, however, Woodley’s fighting style has changed drastically.

He has chosen to take a far safer approach in hopes of retaining his title as long as possible. Once one of the most exciting fighters on the UFC roster, Woodley is now known as TyQuil for putting fans to sleep with his lackluster performances. Woodley looks almost exclusively for the overhand right, choosing not to engage his opponents, but rather to sit and wait for an opening to present itself. This seems counter-intuitive since some form of a set up is needed to successfully land an overhand strike.

Woodley can be very dangerous when he is able to dictate the pace of the fight. Woodley’s three losses have come against fighters that pressured him the entire fight, making it impossible for him to impose his will and land the right hand. Good grapplers with heavy pressure and good clinch technique seem to give Woodley a lot of problems in the Octagon. Rory MacDonald and Jake Shields were both able to stay on the inside of Woodley’s range, making him scramble and clinch much more than other opponents had — just about nullifying his right hand. Nate Marquardt was able to back Woodley up against the cage with combination strikes, eventually finishing Woodley via a fourth-round knockout. This is the same game plan that Till will have to employ if he wants to become the “AND NEW” on Sept. 8th.

Darren Till
Darren Till

Till, at +165 odds, is quickly becoming one of the biggest names in British combat Sports. He made his UFC debut and earned himself a second-round knockout over Wendall Oliviera at UFC Fight Night 67 in May of 2015. Till would pick up a draw and two more wins before taking a short notice main event fight against Donald Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 118. That night Darren Till dismantled Cerrone in a first-round obliteration that would seat Till at the small table of challengers for Woodley’s Welterweight Title.

Till then took on the former title challenger Stephen Thompson in what became a number one contender matchup for the Brit. Throughout the fight, Till was able to use forward pressure and kicks to push Thompson back as well as using the clinch to stifle Thompson’s leaping attacks.  Till landed a slightly higher number of strikes than Thompson resulting in a razor-thin decision victory over Wonderboy.  Till and Thompson have very similar stand-up styles, although Till uses a wider array of attacks than Thompson such as knees and elbows. The one thing that Till has that Thompson didn’t is a high-level ground game.

Pick & Prediction

Darren Till is an experienced purple belt in jujitsu and actually lived in Brazil for five years.  This gives Till a very big advantage in his fight against Tyron Woodley. Till is very hard to take down but also dangerous off of his back. Grappling will be the thing that separates Till from Woodley.  I don’t expect Woodley to try and take Darren Till down like he did with other contenders like Stephen Thompson, but I do expect to see Till to threaten takedowns, as well as trips, from the clinch. I am expecting a five round fight between Darren Till and Tyron Woodley with Darren Till coming away with a unanimous decision after the final bell sounds.

About Joe Tussing

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Joe Tussing is a former professoional MMA fighter and current trainer with more than 20 years experience in combat sports. Tussing is a writer, reporter and MMA personality living in Las Vegas.

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