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Derek Brunson vs. Darren Till preview and prediction

Derek Brunson vs. Darren Till preview and prediction

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Preview and prediction for UFC Vegas 36: Derek Brunson vs. Darren Till.

The main event of UFC Vegas 36 will see two middleweights look to elevate themselves into the middleweight title picture, as Derek Brunson takes on Darren Till.

Since dropping back-to-back fights to Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and current champ Israel Adesanya, Brunson has won four straight. He most recently made easy work of Kevin Holland, winning a one-sided unanimous decision at UFC Vegas 22 in March.

Till, a former welterweight title challenger, made his middleweight debut at UFC 244, defeating Kelvin Gastelum via split decision. He then fought former middleweight champion and presumed next title challenger Robert Whittaker in July 2020, losing a unanimous decision.

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Who will win at UFC Vegas 36: Derek Brunson or Darren Till?

Brunson comes into this bout with one inch more in height, three inches more in reach and about eight years more in age, per the Tale of the Tape.

Looking at FightMetrics, Brunson has the better striking differential, but their accuracy percentages are close, and Till holds a slightly better defense percentage. Brunson, of course, is a high-level grappler, scoring at least three takedowns and a 94 percent takedown defense percentage. Till’s takedown defense, however, isn’t slacking at 82 percent, however.

Even with Brunson’s age, he has looked so improved since moving over to Sanford MMA and has killed the momentum of guys the UFC has been very high on in his last couple of fights. That being said, Till is no pushover and is talented. Till has shown he can make someone who doesn’t respect his striking pay. Neither guy really has a bad loss on their record either.

That being said, Brunson will need to take this fight to the ground to be dominant, but it’s quite possible he can land takedowns often. We also need to see how Till looks after the long layoff due to his collarbone injury. How will he look when paired with someone like Brunson, who is also fighting for a noteworthy position in the middleweight rankings?

As long as Brunson can control the match with Till and score takedowns, expect Brunson’s path from gatekeeper to title contender to continue.

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Prediction: Brunson via unanimous decision

UFC Vegas 36 takes place on Sept. 4, live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along with FanSided for all your live news and highlights.

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