UFC returns for the fourth time this month from the Yas Islands in Abu Dhabi to deliver its final instalment of the Fight Island. This card will be headlined by former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and former welterweight title challenger Darren Till.
The MMA India Show is starting a new prediction series, where I, Jay Rock, will be analysing the upcoming fight cards and giving my predictions, analysis, betting tips and a chance to improve your score at Verdict.
What is Verdict?
To explain it easily, Verdict is a comprehensive and entertaining fight picking and scoring platform out there. You can earn ‘experience’ for predicting fights correctly and scoring rounds in real-time. If accurately predicted the match, you will be able to top the leaderboard. See how much you understand the sport and compete with MMA fans around the world.
Now let’s get back to the upcoming event, which is titled UFC on ESPN 14 and is filled with exciting fights from top to bottom.
Robert Whittaker vs Darren Till
It’s an important fight for both the fighters in a stacked middleweight division. Robert Whittaker will be looking at his ring return after nine-long months and planning to get his name back in the win column.
He lost his title last year at UFC 243 to Israel Adesanya via TKO in the second round. On the other hand, Darren Till is coming off of a slim split decision win over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 244 snapping his two-fight losing streak.
Robert Whittaker (1.71) is a slight betting favourite over Darren Till (2.05). This essentially means that if you bet ₹100 on Whittaker, you will win ₹171 if the Australian wins, whereas you will be making ₹205 if Darren Till defeats Whittaker.
To place bets on tomorrow’s UFC card, click here.
Heading into this fight, Darren Till is a heavy underdog and rightfully so as he is facing the former UFC middleweight champion who was riding on a nine-fight winning streak in the UFC before finally facing Israel Adesanya.
In his nine-fight winning streak, Whittaker twice defeated the boogeyman of the division, Yoel Romero and prior to that, he knocked out Derek Brunson and Jacare Souza. On the other hand, Till hasn’t looked phenomenal in his last couple of fights and even in his last fight, he barely beat Kelvin Gastelum. Not to forget that Robert Whittaker is phenomenally better at the stuff Darren Till is good at.
Darren Till predominantly has a striking base, but when he is not able to score a knockdown and has to take the fight to a distance, Till has struggled with his opponent. In his fight against Gastelum, which went the distance, Till only had a slight advantage in the significant strikes landed, as he out-landed him by a mere 4 strikes.
In his fights against Bojan Velickovic and Jessin Ayari, Till out-landed then by a thin margin of 49 to 34 and 31 to 28 significant strikes. In his second UFC fight against Nicholas Dalby, he was out-landed 84 to 49 in significant strikes. While he had initially lost his fight to Dalby, the fight was soon overturned into an NC. Till’s advantages are his size and power and to win against Whittaker, he would have to impose his will early on or else, Whittaker would adjust himself and make it difficult for Till in the later rounds.
According to UFCstats, Darren Till absorbs 3.03 significant strikes per minute, whereas, he lands 2.41 significant strikes per minute. Seeing that he absorbs more than he lands, it isn’t ideal when he is fighting a guy like Robert Whittaker. ‘Bobby Knuckles’ lands 4.77 significant strikes per minute, whereas he only absorbs 3.71 significant strikes per minute.
Jay Rock’s Money line Prediction: Robert Whittaker defeats Darren Till outright.
Props: Robert Whittaker defeats Darren Till via unanimous decision.
Mauricio Rua (1.50) Vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (2.60)
Jay Rock’s Prediction: Mauricio Rua defeats Antonio Nogueira outright.
Props: Mauricio Rua defeats Antonio Nogueira via stoppage (KO/TKO/SUB).
Fabricio Werdum (3.60) Vs. Alexander Gustafsson (1.28)
Jay Rock’s Prediction: Fabricio Werdum defeats Alexander Gustafsson outright.
Props: Fabricio Werdum defeats Alexander Gustafsson via submission.
Carla Esparza (2.40) Vs. Marina Rodriguez (1.57)
Jay Rock’s Prediction: Carla Esparza defeats Marina Rodriguez outright.
Props: Carla Esparza defeats Marina Rodriguez via decision.
Paul Craig (1.80) Vs. Gadzhimurad Antigulov (2.00)
Jay Rock’s Prediction: Paul Craig defeats Gadzhimurad Antugulov outright.
Props: Paul Craig defeats Gadzhimurad Antugulov via stoppage (KO/TKO/SUB).
Alex Oliveira (1.57) Vs. Peter Sobotta (2.40)
Jay Rock’s Prediction: Alex Oliveira defeats Peter Sobotta outright.
Props: Alex Oliveira defeats Peter Sobotta via decision.
Khamzat Chimaev (1.10) Vs. Rhys Mckee (7.00)
Jay Rock’s Prediction: Khamzat Chimaev defeats Rhys McKee outright.
Props: Khamzat Chimaev defeats Rhys McKee via stoppage (KO/TKO/SUB).