Brunson submits Till in one-sided UFC main event
Derek Brunson bested Darren Till in Saturday's battle of middleweight contenders, using a rear-naked choke to submit him at the 2:13 mark of the third round in the UFC Fight Night main event in Las Vegas.
Brunson largely dominated the bout, applying takedowns in each round to punish Till with ground-and-pound and eventually set up the fight-ending submission.
"I'm tired of these guys not mentioning my name," Brunson said in his postfight interview. "(UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya) ... mention my name. I heard you mentioning Till and (Jared) Cannonier. I've been busting my butt for years after my loss (to Adesanya) to get back to this point. So, yeah, I'm ready to continue."
Till had a few good moments on the feet, including in the third round when he sent Brunson retreating with a solid combination. He also pieced up Brunson with sharp punches in the first round, demonstrating a speed advantage and edge in technique.
But Till struggled to stay off his back, and that was ultimately his downfall. Brunson nearly finished the Liverpool native in the opening frame with devastating elbows and punches on the ground, leaving Till with swelling over his right eye. Brunson controlled his opponent for most of the second round.
Brunson dealt with some adversity during his training camp as he was unable to train as of three weeks ago after suffering torn cartilage and multiple fractured ribs, his manager Ali Abdelaziz told ESPN's Brett Okamoto.
The victory over Till moved Brunson to 5-0 in his past five outings and includes three straight UFC main events. Afterward, the No. 5-ranked middleweight called for a title shot against the winner between Adesanya and Robert Whittaker, which is likely to be the next middleweight championship bout.
Till, ranked No. 7 in the division, is now riding a two-fight skid and is 1-4 in his last five Octagon appearances. He's 1-2 since moving up to the 185-pound division in 2019.
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