Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley (18-3, 6 KOs, 5 SUBs) will defend his title against undefeated Darren Till (17-0, 10 KOs, 2 SUBs) at UFC 228 on Saturday, September 8, 2018 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The main card airs live at 10pm ET following the FS1 prelims.
It’s been over a year since we’ve seen Tyron Woodley in action. After putting up an all-time stinker of a title defense against Demian Maia, it’s doubtful that a lot of people are hyped on his return. Even if it comes against an undefeated Muay Thai punisher in Darren Till.
After blasting through the middle class of the welterweight division, Till most recently beat No. 1 contender Stephen Thompson at UFC Fight Night 130. Unfortunately, what was supposed to be a striker’s delight ended up being a yawner, as both men spent most of five rounds circling and waiting for the other to go first. That’s not a good sign against a champ whose been feeling a lot of hate for putting on boring fights.
The big question here is whether Till can successfully make the weight limit. He’s a massive welterweight with multiple failures to make 170. His weigh-in against Thompson was particularly egregious, missing the cut by nearly 5 pounds and having to fight under certain stipulations. Based on his history, it’s natural to doubt whether he’ll be fighting for the title or not.
But regardless of his weight, if Till steps into the octagon, he’ll be an intriguing play in the sportsbook. The UFC odds at BookMaker.eu opened with Woodley as a slight favorite, but the lines have been steadily evening out ever since. Let’s take a look and break it down.
UFC 228 Betting at BookMaker.eu
Tyron Woodley -117
Darren Till -116
Fight goes/doesn’t go to decision: -135 / +105
Significant strikes landed per minute: Woodley 2.48 / Till 2.67
Accuracy: Woodley 47.29% / Till 46.35%
Significant strikes absorbed per minute: Woodley 2.35 / Till 2.62
Defense: Woodley 61.54% / Till 65.53%
Takedown average: Woodley 1.4 / Till 0.56
Takedown accuracy: Woodley 45.65% / Till 33.33%
Takedowns defended: Woodley 94.83% / Till 83.33%
Submission average: Woodley 0.47 / Till 0
Bet on Tyron Woodley vs. Darren Till Odds
Woodley’s gameplan is to shut down his opponent’s gameplan. It’s not pretty to watch, but he has all the elite tools to figure out anyone in the division. Against Maia, his counterwrestling stymied the Brazilian grappler. Against Thompson, he used his explosive overhand right and opportune takedowns to steal enough points to win.
It can be frustrating watching somebody so talented refuse to take the lead, but it’s clearly been working for the champ. Still, his opponent brings some new challenges to the fold.
Right away you notice how much bigger Till looks than Woodley - the Brit towers over him when they face off. When you combine that with his plus athleticism, it makes Till extremely difficult to take down and nearly impossible to bully. That bodes well for the 25-year old, who possesses the more dynamic striking skills.
Woodley’s habit of backing up into the cage could really hurt him here, as Till is a beast when he’s got opponents trapped against the chain link. Here, he creatively uses all eight striking points, and it’s impossible for foes to know whether he’ll throw an elbow over the top or launch the same cross that battered Donald Cerrone. Of course, Woodley’s explosive overhand could keep him honest, much like it did against Wonderboy.
UFC Odds Pick: Till to win at -117
This really seems like a 50/50 matchup, but we lean towards Till because he’ll likely be the more active fighter. Woodley’s body type only affords him a few savage blitzes per fight, and Till has the youth and size to withstand those and keep coming back to score more points.
UFC Odds Pick: Fight goes to decision at -135
If you’re hesitant about picking a winner, take the prop that this fight goes to the cards. Woodley’s ultra-conservative style slows down scraps, and Till’s respect for his power should curb his aggression.
UFC 228 Odds at BookMaker.eu
Access live betting lines from your mobile device at BookMaker Sportsbook! Real-time spreads, totals, props and money line are all available so start betting with BookMaker today. UFC 228 takes place on Saturday, September 8, 2018 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The main card airs live at 10pm ET following the FS1 prelims.