Till has one win and one defeat in the division since his move up from welterweight following a title-bout loss to then champion Tyron Woodley in 2018. The 28-year-old’s middleweight debut was a split-decision victory over Kelvin Gastelum in November 2019, before he was outpointed by former 185lbs title-holder Robert Whittaker in July 2020.
Till (18-3-1) was set for an all-European clash with Italy’s Marvin Vettori in April but suffered a broken collarbone in training, ruling the striker out of the fight.
Now, after more than a year away from the Octagon, fifth-ranked Till returns on Saturday as he faces seventh-ranked middleweight Brunson in the UFC’s Apex facility. The 37-year-old American (22-7) enters the contest on a four-fight win streak, with a rematch against current champion Israel Adesanya in his sights, following a first-round knockout defeat by ‘The Last Stylebender’ three years ago.
There are other Britons in action, too. Fast-rising heavyweight Tom Aspinall will compete in the co-main event, while further down the card, Till’s fellow Liverpudlian Paddy Pimblett makes his highly-anticipated UFC debut in the lightweight division. Liverpool’s Molly McCann headlines the preliminary card, after undefeated Welshman Jack Shore looks to make further impact on the bantamweight division.
Here’s all you need to know about the UFC Fight Night.
When is it?
The event will take place on Saturday 4 September at the UFC’s Apex facility in Las Vegas.
In a refreshing change for UK viewers, the prelims will begin at 6.30pm BST before the main card gets under way at 9pm.
The main event between Till and Brunson will likely begin around 11pm BST.
How can I watch it?
In the UK, the action will air live on BT Sport 2 HD. Subscribers can also stream it live on the broadcaster’s website and app.
In the US, ESPN+ will be showing all of the fights.
Thus far, Till has shown glimpses of elite striking and fight IQ on his quest to become a world champion, but he is out to prove that he has made the necessary improvements to get to the gold.
He faces a tough test here, however, in taking on a veteran in Brunson – whose greatest strength is his grappling.
In what should be an intriguing contest, especially given both men are southpaws, Till will have to be sharp with his distance management to get the win.
Derek Brunson vs Darren Till (middleweight)
Tom Aspinall vs Serghei Spivac (heavyweight)
Alex Morono vs Dawid Zawada (welterweight)
Modestas Bukauskas vs Khalil Rountree Jr (light heavyweight)
Paddy Pimblett vs Luigi Vendramini (lightweight)
Molly McCann vs Ji Yeon Kim (women’s flyweight)
Jack Shore vs Liudvik Sholinian (bantamweight)
Julian Erosa vs Charles Jourdain (150lbs catchweight)
Dalcha Lungiambula vs Marc-Andre Barriault (middleweight)
Jonathan Martinez vs Marcelo Rojo (bantamweight)