It’s been a dizzying fall for Darren Till, who just last September was undefeated going into a challenge for the UFC welterweight championship. Till lost on that night, and on Saturday he suffered a second straight defeat, knocked out by a devastating Jorge Masvidal left hook in the main event of UFC Fight Night at the O2 Arena in London.
The knockout came at 3 minutes, 5 seconds of Round 2.
Masvidal, who hadn’t fought since November 2017, returned with a performance that should put him right back in the thick of things in the welterweight top 10. Till came in ranked No. 5 by ESPN.
The fight began explosively by both fighters. Masvidal (33-13) came charging out of his corner and immediately tried to land a kick, but he caught Till in the groin, prompting a brief pause while Till recovered.
Moments later, Till connected with a straight left that put Masvidal on his back and sent the arena crowd into a frenzy. There was singing and chanting as the pride of Liverpool pounced.
But Masvidal survived and got the fight back to the feet, and the two men exchanged some sharp punches for the remainder of the opening five minutes. Both men felt the other’s power.
Once the second round started, however, Masvidal was the sharper fighter, landing more in their exchanges while Till stalked but mostly didn’t pull the trigger. Then, with the fighters at the center of the cage, Masvidal unleashed his big left hand, and he added another as Till was crashing backward onto the canvas, stiff and unconscious.
Referee Marc Goddard jumped in to declare it a knockout.
Till (17-2-1) remained down even as Masvidal was celebrating the finish, and after the Brit’s cornermen came in to attend to him, he appeared disconsolate. Masvidal noticed.
“He’s only 24, England, he’s got so much more to go,” he told the crowd as he looked across the cage at Till, who is actually 26 years old. “He’s going to be a tiger one day. Right now, he’s a young bull. He’s going to be a tiger, so pick him up.”