Few fighters get the opportunity to take a huge step up in competition so early into their career. Luckily for 24-year-old Darren Till, that opportunity will come knocking later today (Sat., Oct. 21, 2017) at UFC Fight Night 118 live on Fight Pass from inside Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland, when the English striker takes on established fan favorite Donald Cerrone in the main event.
Till, who is 3-0-1 since entering UFC back in 2015, is barely an underdog according to oddsmakers. That’s huge praise for the up-and-coming welterweight contender considering “Cowboy” has been one of the more successful and dangerous fighters in the promotion for years. Heck, Cerrone is coming off a loss to former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler and usually eats up fighters ranked lower than him.
Entering UFC Fight Night 118, Till will have a gigantic opportunity to steal some of Cerrone’s divisional pizzazz, create his own buzz in a crowded 170-pound class, and lock down a victory over a proven title contender who has only lost to Lawler, Jorge Masvidal, and Rafael dos Anjos since 2013.
But with so much at stake so early into his professional career, how will the undefeated Till respond to the call?
It depends. Fighters get the spotlight and often mishandle their chance to shine. But in some cases, they run with the torch and start burning everything in their path. For Till, who currently sits at 15-0-1 for his career, he must look at “Cowboy” as just another opponent. If he can minimize the moment then maybe “Gorilla” can perform like his normal self, bypass the slow start that usually accompanies a main event billing, and comfortably exchange with one of the best strikers in the division.
Till obviously has a long career ahead of him so a loss to someone of Cerrone’a stature isn’t going to ruin his UFC future. However, a victory over “Cowboy” will catapult the English knockout artist into the welterweight division’s top 10 and put him on a short list of dark horse contenders entering 2018.
An opportunity like that usually brings out the best in fighters so it will be exciting to watch Till enter the spotlight today in Poland.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 118 fight card, starting with the Fight Pass “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. ET, followed by the main card start time of 3 p.m. ET, also on Fight Pass.