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Liverpool’s Darren Till takes on Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker in the headline bout to this weekend’s UFC event on Fight Island. The card also features other British fighters, Paul Craig, Nathaniel Wood and Mike Grundy.
UFC Fight Night 174 Main Card:
- Middleweight – Robert Whittaker vs. Darren Till
- Light heavyweight – Mauricio Rua vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
- Heavyweight – Fabricio Werdum vs. Alexander Gustafsson
- Strawweight – Carla Esparza vs. Marina Rodriguez
- Light heavyweight – Paul Craig vs. Gadzhimurad Antigulov
- Welterweight – Alex Oliveira vs. Petter Sobotta
- Welterweight – Khamzat Chimaev vs. Rhys McKee
UFC Fight Night 174 Preliminary Card:
- Lightweight – Francisco Trinaldo vs. Jai Herbert
- Welterweight – Nicolas Dalby vs. Jesse Ronson
- Heavyweight – Tom Aspinall vs. Jake Collier
- Featherweight – Movsar Evloev vs. Mike Grundy
- Heavyweight – Tanner Boser vs. Raphael Pessoa
- Bantamweight – Bethe Correia vs. Pannie Kianzad
- Welterweight – Ramazan Emeev vs. Niklas Stolze
- Bantamweight – Nathaniel Wood vs. John Castaneda
Where, when and how can I watch it?
UFC Fight Night 174 will take place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The prelims will get underway at 11:00pm GMT on Saturday, July 25th and the main card will commence at 3:00am GMT on Sunday, June 12th. All coverage will be shown live on BT Sport 2.
Robert Whittaker vs Darren Till
It’s a match up every UFC fan has been waiting to see. Former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker against Darren “The Gorilla” Till. Whittaker will be looking to reclaim his middleweight title, having lost it to Israel Adesanya at UFC243. And what better way to do it against the ever so popular Darren Till.
Whittaker’s last fight against Adesanya was somewhat uncharacteristic. In my opinion, I thought Whittaker was reckless, as he is usually very calculated and measured. However, due to personal reasons, he might have just not been in right mindset going into the fight.
Therefore, I believe if he is given another opportunity against Adesanya, we’ll see a more competitive match up. However, he’ll have to get pass Liverpool’s Darren Till if he has any chance of reclaiming what he lost last year.
It doesn’t seem too long ago that Darren Till was fighting for the welterweight title against Tyron Woodley at UFC 228. However, as we all know, things didn’t go his way and he suffered his first MMA career defeat, to be followed by a second against Jorge Masvidal.
Like most fight fans, we all believed that Till was too big for the welterweight division – and a move up to middleweight would be the best course of action. Sure enough, Till began his new venture in the middleweight ranks against Kelvin Gastelum (UFC 244, Nov 2019), where he won by a split decision.
This was his first victory since May 2018, when successful against Stephen Thompson. Till definitely looked more than comfortable at middleweight, given the pressures of cutting weight off his shoulder. From a technical standpoint, he was very patient and picked his shots against Gastelum. However, he’ll have to be even better against The Reaper on Sunday morning.
Prediction – Darren Till to win by points 18/5
A difficult fight to call in my opinion, as both fighters are incredible strikers, former welterweights, have great takedown defense and are strong wrestlers.
However, after watching a few training camps and what other analysts have said, I have to give the slight edge to Till. Not only does he have reach advantage, he looks extremely focused, and has revived that hunger to become the next British UFC champion.
He also has that knock-out power to put someone away, which is always an advantage, But I think he’ll be patient, pick his shots, grapple, and strike off the clinch. However, if someone said to me “Whittaker will win this fight” I wouldn’t argue because he’s got the experience of a champion and knows what it’s like to be chasing for a title shot.
UFC Welterweight Star, Danny Roberts gives us his predictions
Robert Whittaker vs Darren Till – Danny Roberts
“The kid is switched on, he’s fired up, he’s ready to go, I think it’s gonna be a star-studded finish for Darren Till” Danny Roberts
Prediction – Darren Till to win by points 18/5
Paul Craig v Gadzhimurad Antigulov – Danny Roberts
“It’s madness, Paul Craig has really surprised me, but I think he’s got a tough fight though at the sametime. But yeah I’m still going to back him, Paul Craig with the finish”
Prediction – Paul Craig to win (8/11)
Nicolas Dalby vs. Jesse Ronson – Danny Roberts
“He likes to brawl and really try to make fights ugly as well sometimes – I feel like he’ll edge it and I think he’ll take it on points.”
Prediction – Dalby on points (4/11)
Movsar Evloev vs. Mike Grundy – Danny Roberts
“I feel like this is a really hard fight for Mike. I really want to see him win this fight but I’m gonna have to go with Evloev.”
Prediction – Mosvar Evloev to win (1/2)
Nathaniel Wood vs. John Castaneda – Danny Roberts
“He’s an exciting fighter. I’m going to go with Nathaniel Wood for this one and I’m going to go with the finish!”
Prediction – Nathaniel Wood to win (2/11)