On the night of 16 to 17 March, at the O2 Arena in London, the former contender for welterweight world champion Darren Till meets Jorge Masvidal. Prosports.kz presents a preview of the tournament.
The Matchmakers chose the perfect time to organize the upcoming game. Last September, 26-year-old Till met with then-champion Tyrone Woodley and gave up the last stifling reception. In a short break, the fighter from Liverpool worked on the mistakes and seems ready for the next welterweight title race (77 kg). Only this time sits Camara Usman, who won Woodley at the UFC 235, already on the throne.
Earlier, the company had already tried to organize a duel between Till and the former interim champion in this weight Colby Covington. However, he refused again, for unknown reasons, to fight with the Englishman. It's worth noting that this is not the first time Colby has not accepted top fighters. The company also did not organize the Darren fight against Stephen Thompson. First, the fighters met at the Octagon last May and held one of the most boring bouts of the year. Second, it is too early to break down the top 5 fighters when Tyrone Woodley became one of the contenders. Therefore, Matchmakers Thompson fought a battle with former lightweight winner (70 kg) Anthony Pettis, who will be held on March 23 at the UFC FN 148 tournament.
Returning to the title race, Till opted for the perfect option and agreed to fight Jorge Masvidal. Opponent on hearing, but is among the top ten. 34-year-old Masvidal began his career in 2003 and has since struggled in many global campaigns. In the UFC Jorge was signed when the company in 2013 started the Strikeforce promotion. Since then, Masvidal has been performing with varying degrees of success. Jorge reached its peak in January 2017 when he kicked out Donald Cerrone. The fighter had champion ambitions, but in the next fight he was stopped by Jiu Jitsu champion Demian Maya. He flew out of the top 10 when he lost in November of the same year by decision of the judge against Stephen Thompson.
For Masvidal, the upcoming game will be the golden ticket for the first five of the division. If Jorge manages to defeat Darren, he will place his name in the title race, which includes Ben Askren, Colby Covington and Tyrone Woodley. The Sunday meeting will be a real test for Jorge, because in many ways Till resembles Stephen Thompson. The winner of the upcoming fight may later face the tough and uncompromising Argentinian Santiago Poninibbio. The latter has already won seven consecutive welterweight (77 kg) victories. It's worth noting that the welterweight has finally come to life, and this year we're waiting for really interesting arguments.
No less interesting competition awaits us in the light heavyweight division (93 kg). Former title contender Volkan Ozdemir meets promising Dominic Reyes. While the light heavyweight king John Jones defends gold successfully, the company is looking for new rivals. In the next fight, the champion meets with Tiago Santos. Therefore, it was logical to bring Volkan Ozdemir and Dominik into the Octagon, as Alexander Gustafsson will fight against Anthony Smith and Daniel Cormier does not yet want to return. The 29-year-old Volkan was beaten in a title fight in January 2018 and then strangled by Anthony Smith. The once promising fighter continues to drop in the light heavyweight division.
This Sunday, Volkan will try to return to the winning streak by beating Reyes. The latter made a good move and debuted in June 2017 at the UFC. In October of last year, Dominique caught the attention of the experts when he defeated Ovins St. Prue by decision of the judges. For Reyes, the fight against Ozdemir is a perfect opportunity to reach the top five, where only one fight will separate him from the title fight. In recent years, the fighter has shown excellent progress and closed gaps on the shelf and at the stands. In each fight, an athlete learns from his mistakes. As the charismatic Johnny Walker makes his way up, Reyes has the opportunity to meet Jones and receive the biggest check of his career.