Darren Till choked out by Derek Brunson as ‘Gorilla’ suffers gruesome eye injury during lopsided defeat
Darren Till may have to wait a week for his eye injury to heal up after a damaging defeat to Derek Brunson, but his credentials as a middleweight title contender will take much longer to restore.
‘The Gorilla’ was submitted in the third round of the main event in the UFC Apex in Las Vegas after being taken down at will throughout the fight and beaten on the ground.
After just the first round, Till’s right eye began to shut completely as a result of the investment in the ground and pound from Brunson, who looked better than ever.
At the age of 37, the veteran American has now amassed five straight wins and called for a fight against Israel Adesanya in what will likely be his final ever shot at UFC gold.
For Till, time is on his side at the age of 28 and a fight against Adesanya will always be on the cards given the chemistry the pair share outside of the Octagon.
But the former welterweight title contender must work on some key fundamentals before he can consider stepping up to the elite level once again.
Famed for his piston left hand, ‘The Gorilla’ tried to find a home for his killer shot but was found wanting time and time again as his blurred vision affected his range.
Brunson constantly shot for double legs when allowed to level change and the Liverpool-native seemingly had no answer.
Since moving to Sanford MMA, Brunson looks regenerated as a fighter and Till can take plenty of inspiration from his foe on Saturday evening, who locked him into a rear naked choke to force the tap.
It followed Till’s brightest spell of the fight where he even appeared to stagger the American with peppering shots, but he could not find the killer blow.
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The Brit has won just one of his last five fights, a victory against Kelvin Gastelum back in 2019, and looks devoid of the confidence and swagger which propelled him to an early title shot against Tyron Woodley back in 2018.
Since that defeat, Till has been knocked out by Jorge Masvidal, edged out by Robert Whittaker and now choked out by Brunson.
His quest for a UFC world title belt will certainly not be an easy one, but ‘The Gorilla’ can certainly rise again.