Does Darren Till deserve a shot at the welterweight title? It’s hard to say. In order to engage in such a conversation, we would need to talk about things like paying dues. There will be some pros (as well as fight fans of a certain disposition) who feel that Till has not earned his chance.
That he has skipped a couple of rungs on the ladder to the top. Till might even agree with them. He’s not lacking in confidence but hasn’t wanted to get anything undeserved on his journey to the top. A big win over Donald Cerrone last October catapulted him into the category of a contender and an assured performance in a unanimous decision points win over Stephen Thompson set up a huge UFC 228 bout with Tyron Woodley.
Till may be somewhat new in town but UFC betting is an entertainment industry and the Liverpudlian has a certain box-office quality about him. An aura, if you will. Woodley certainly saw no fear in his eyes at their press conference in anticipation of this event. How this will help Till remains to be seen for Woodley is a dangerous beast.
Ten years Till’s senior with a number of successful title defences under his belt, Woodley is a vicious striker and a versatile competitor who may be too quick for his taller counterpart. Till has shown that he has good defensive instincts and he’ll need them to be completely active if he’s to somehow beat Woodley. We don’t see him doing it but we see him giving a decent account of himself in the process. Perhaps it will be enough to set up a rematch. It promises to be a fascinating encounter.