UFC 228: 4 reasons why Darren Till will beat Tyron Woodley
This Saturday, UFC 228 will see UFC Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley attempt to make the fourth successful defence of his title, as he takes on undefeated English challenger Darren Till. It’s not the fight many fans were expecting – Woodley against interim champ Colby Covington was the expected match-up – but Till has earned his title shot, as he’s coming off a win over former title challenger Stephen Thompson in May.
Can ‘The Gorilla’ be the one to unseat the champion, who’s reigned atop the 170lbs division since his July 2016 knockout of Robbie Lawler? It won’t be easy but I believe Till has some major advantages that he can capitalise on to defeat Woodley and claim the title. Here are 4 of them.
#1: He can apply the pressure to Woodley
For all of his great moments in the UFC – his knockouts of Josh Koscheck and Robbie Lawler for instance – one hallmark of Tyron Woodley’s career in the Octagon has been a clear weakness that shone through in both of his losses there – as well as in his two fights with Stephen Thompson. In layman’s terms, he struggles when an opponent manages to back him up towards the fence, and then struggles to pull the trigger on his strikes, too.
That weakness is why Till could well represent a bad match-up for ‘The Chosen One’. Throughout his six-fight UFC career, Till has made a habit of walking down any opponent he’s faced, backing them up into the cage where they’re usually met by a big left hand or a slashing elbow strike. Against overmatched opponents like Jessin Ayari and Bojan Velickovic this worked brilliantly, but he also finished the super-tough Donald Cerrone within a round by walking him down, too.
It is true that Woodley could find an answer for this style by shooting for double-leg takedowns, but in his fights with Thompson and also against Rory MacDonald – his clearest loss in the UFC – he became too preoccupied with looking for a big counter than with shooting a takedown. And like MacDonald – even more so in fact – Till has a major reach advantage over the champion.
If the Scouser can manage to back Woodley into the fence and keep him there using his long strikes, then he could find a lot of success in the fight.