MMA Preview – Tyron Woodley vs Darren Till at UFC 228

AT A GLANCE

When is UFC 228? Sunday 9th September, 2018 – 01:00 (UK)

Where is UFC 228? American Airlines Center, Dallas, Texas

What channel is UFC 228 on? BT Sport 2

Where can I stream UFC 228? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT website

Are tickets still available for UFC 228? http://uk.ufc.com/event-ticket-info?utm_source=ufc&utm_medium=tab&utm_campaign=tickets

THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

Tyron Woodley is finally back to defend his welterweight belt after recovering from a shoulder injury. While he has been out, Colby Covington has brashly talked and earned the interim belt to set up this unified title fight. However, nasal issues requiring surgery has forced the UFC to strip him of the title and seek a replacement.

That replacement is Liverpool’s own Darren Till, who many say provides a better match-up. Till is unbeaten and carries an aura around him with an unusual mix of cockiness and humility. His unique charisma is helped by an ultra-aggressive style developed from a Muay Thai background, accompanied with the size of a large middleweight that makes him extremely dangerous.

However, Woodley is also as dangerous as it gets. He is an athletic specimen who climbed up the ranks with tremendous wrestling and devastatingly explosive hands. His power and speed has overwhelmed opponents but he has also added a cerebral element to his game.

He was criticized for the lack of action in his title defences with Stephen Thompson and Demian Maia but these contenders represent completely contrasting and top-of-the-food-chain skill but Woodley was able to nullify the threats of both men which has to appreciated.

THE PREDICTION

Woodley did a great job in nullifying those threats but that is all he did. He did not take the fight to them and look for the finish and that is what Till is renowned for. Till is expected to be aggressive, walk Woodley down and pepper him on the feet and he knows a few clean strikes is all it takes to finish the fight.

However, this style is a great opportunity for Woodley to prove he is still a finisher. Any break in the pressure of Till will allow him to explode with his trademark one-two and swarm with punches but any hesitation will leave the door open for Till to dominate octagon control.

So, this will be intense and ferocious if it stays on the feet but a key weapon of Woodley is his wrestling which he will resort to if Till gets comfortable. There is a big size advantage for the Liverpudlian but Woodley’s stocky, explosive build is perfect to launch in for takedowns as a counter-attack.

This is a fascinating stylistic match-up and Till has the attributes, mentality and aggression to become the second ever British UFC champion but it is easy to forget just how good Woodley is and his repertoire of skill and elite experience may just edge this in his favour.

Winner: Woodley via Decision

Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric