Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night 118 in Gdansk holds a potential changing of the guard fight when Liverpudlian Darren Till has a crack at UFC legend Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone.
Cerrone is known for his desire to fight as often as possible and when he told UFC match-maker Sean Shelby that he wanted to be on the Poland card the race to find an opponent was on. As luck would have it Till was in the same Rotterdam bar as Shelby fresh off his win over Bojan Velickovic at Fight Night 115.
“After the fight, me and Sean Shelby were in the bar having a drink, and he was saying that they were struggling to find a main event for Gdansk. He asked me if I wanted to fight in the main event, and I said “Of course. I’ll fight anyone so get that fight on”. Within a matter of days, it was sorted, and I knew it was going to be Cowboy.”
It’s an exciting match-up, both fighters are known for their striking and both hold black belts in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu.
Till took the road less travelled to his first UFC main event. He left his native Liverpool – where he was an established Muay Thai fighter – to work on his ground game in Brazil.
It was there that he earn his black belt and started to make a name for himself in MMA. Now he has returned to Liverpool to sharpen his striking skills again.
Cowboy is coming off of two straight losses and is now seen as a gate-keeper that younger fighters need to beat to establish themselves. If Till can add a victory over Cerrone to his CV, it will mark a clear path for him to take on some higher ranked contenders and possibly even a shot at champion Tyron Woodley eventually.
Neither man takes a backward step, so everything is in place for them to put on a show. If Till can get the win we could be looking at the UFC next star.
Stephen Vaughaun, Pundit Arena