UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Till preview and pick
Two of the world's best middleweight best strikers square off in a fight to remain in the upper tier of the division as Robert Whittaker faces off against Darren Till on Saturday, July 25 from Yas Island. The winner, or at least what's left of him, expects to be on the shortlist of contenders for champion Israel Adesanya.
BetAmerica is heading for the bunkers before the bombs drop, but not before giving you a look at this clash.
Sun, July 26 2020, 4:30 AM
Whittaker is a lethal striker
Plenty of questions remain about how much Whittaker has left after brutal battles with Yoel Romero and Adesanya. Despite this, he remains arguably the best pure striker at middleweight. He has power in both hands, decent accuracy, and a respectable work rate. Whittaker will also enjoy a size advantage over Till, who up until his last fight campaigned as a welterweight.
Discipline has been key for Till
Till fought a disciplined fight against Kelvin Gastelum and managed to eke out a split decision, opting to play it safe instead of taking any risks. Against Whittaker, this strategy can either result in a devastating victory or a lopsided defeat. The Muay Thai specialist can deck Whittaker with counters, and considering Whittaker’s volume heavy approach, Till might have the opportunity to do just that.
Odds are far closer than they should be
Unless Whittaker has declined from his championship form, it’s hard to see this fight being as close as the oddsmakers suggest. Till couldn’t get out of the second round against Jorge Masvidal, and took a beating against Stephen Thompson in a decision win he was lucky to receive. Once Whittaker gets going and begins swarming Till, it’ll be up to Till to fight the bigger man off of him while absorbing significant punishment.
It is in those tense opening moments where we’ll see the nature of the fight unfold. If Whittaker gives Till the distance and lets him fight at his pace on the outside, then Till will pile up the points and land some wicked shots. Expect Whittaker to make Till earn that chance by keeping the fight in close quarters, utilizing feints and head movement to throw off Till’s timing. He'll move to crowd him when Till gets in range for his counters.
This could end up being a tale of two fights, especially considering it is set for five rounds. There should be enough in Whittaker’s tank to impose his size on the smaller man, even if he takes some punishment as he is known to do. Whittaker will start cautiously enough, but he’ll finish strong and overpower Till to win a close decision.