The UFC heads over to London, England this Saturday for UFC on ESPN+5. This event will take place from the O2 Arena in London, England and will get started with an early start time of 1:00 PM Eastern Time.
The Main Event of UFC on ESPN+5 will feature former UFC Welterweight Title Contender Darren Till taking on Jorge Masvidal. This fight should be a very entertaining striking match between two of the best strikers in the UFC’s Welterweight Division.
Darren Till enters the fight fresh off a title shot loss, where he ended up losing to former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley. Till simply wasn’t on the same level as Woodley and had absolutely no answer for Woodley’s ground game. Till showed that he is really reliant on striking to win fights and without any takedown defense, he struggles in fights that hit the ground.
Till is 17-1-1 overall and now is 5-1-1 in the UFC. Till is looking to get back in the title hunt immediately and is hoping that a nice warm-up fight with Jorge Masvidal will boost him back up the chain.
Jorge Masvidal has been sort of a gatekeeper in the UFC’s Welterweight Division. He is 32-13 overall and 9-6 in the UFC. Masvidal is coming off back-to-back losses to Stephen Thompson and Demian Maia but hasn’t fought inside the octagon since November 4, 2017. It will be interesting to see how he does knowing he hasn’t been in the cage in over 16-months.
Masvidal is normally successful when he makes it a dirty striking match like he did with Donald Cerrone. When Masvidal can stand and strike with his opposition, it turns into an ugly striking matchup, which is what he should get with Darren Till.
This fight really excites most MMA fans as both of these guys are going to push forward and try to knock the others head off. I give the advantage and the benefit of striking to Till. He is the fresher fighter and is fighting in his hometown. I expect Till will push Masvidal to the limits and end up knocking him out late in the 3rd round.
Handicapping Pick: Darren Till WINNER via 3rd Round KO
In the Co-Main Event, we will see Leon Edwards taking on Gunnar Nelson in the UFC’s Welterweight Division. Edwards enters this fight with a record of 16-3 and riding a 6 fight win streak. His last loss came way back in 2015, which was against current UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman.
Edwards is a mobile striker that will try to avoid the fight going to the ground. In his last fight, he avoided Donald Cerrone but did just enough striking to earn a unanimous decision win. He will most likely emphasize that same gameplan in this fight against his opponent, Gunnar Nelson.
Nelson enters this fight with a record of 17-3-1 and riding a 1 fight win streak. He enters this fight after earning a 2nd round submission win over Alex Oliveira. Nelson is a world-class grappler that will no doubt try to take this fight to the ground early, while both fighters are still dry and free of sweat.
If Nelson can find a way to place his hands on Edwards, he will greatly benefit, but if he allows Edwards to stay on the outside, he will be in for a long night. I think Nelson will concentrate on cutting off the octagon and eventually, he will get his hands on Edwards for the takedown. When he gets the takedown, the finish should follow shortly thereafter.
Handicapping Pick: Gunnar Nelson WINNER via 2nd Round Submission
Pay Attention to Silva v. Roberts
Another fight to look at this week from a betting standpoint is the match between Claudio Silva and Danny Roberts. Roberts is not known for having any sort of grappling game, while Silva is one of the best grapplers in the UFC. Silva should be a 2/1 favorite, but because this fight is taking place in London, England, the oddsmakers are showing some heart and only making Silva a -142 favorite. The fact remains that once this fight hits the ground, Roberts will be a fish out of water.
Handicapping Pick: Claudio Silva WINNER via 2nd Round Submission