- Darren Till and Marvin Vettori have verbally agreed to fight on April 10th.
- Till is coming off a loss to Robert Whitaker while Vettori is fresh off a win over Jack Hermansson.
- The winner of this bout could be fighting in the next UFC middleweight title fight.
Top 5 middleweights Darren Till and Marvin Vettori meet in a pivotal fight on April 10th.
ESPN first reported that both till and Vettori have verbally agreed to face each other and that they are waiting for the contract to be finalized. The UFC has not made the fight official nor a venue has been determined for the event although it is expected that the fight will happen in Abu Dhabi or Las Vegas.
Verbal agreements are in place for Darren Till and Marvin Vettori to headline a UFC Fight Night card on April 10, multiple sources tell @bokamotoESPN. pic.twitter.com/ecyNbpE2wZ
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) January 26, 2021
A women’s flyweight bout between Mackenzie Dern and Nina Ansaroff plus a middleweight bout between Sam Alvey and Zak Cummings will take place at the UFC Fight Night event. But the big one is the headliner between Till and Vettori which should be an explosive slugfest between two elite strikers.
Coming off a Loss
UFC Fight Island 3: Robert Whittaker beats Darren Till at final event in Abu Dhabi https://t.co/BaAn6ED6IL
— BBC SPORT NI (@BBCSPORTNI) July 26, 2020
Darren Till was one of the UFC’s top welterweight fighters and a former title challenger at 170-pounds. But the 28-year old from Liverpool, England has moved up to middleweight after a pair of botched weight cuts. He was expected to be a top player in his new division but is just 1-1 after two middleweight bouts.
The Gorilla barely beat Kelvin Gastelum in his middleweight debut, winning that fight via split decision. Then at UFC Fight Island 3 last July 26, 2020, he suffered a close unanimous decision loss at the hands of former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whitaker in a fight where Till was a slight betting underdog.
Till has a record of 18-3 with 10 knockouts and two wins via submission. He owns notable wins over Donald Cerrone and Stephen Thompson. However, the Gorilla has lost three out of his last four bouts including stoppage losses against Tyron Woodley and Jorge Masvidal at welterweight.
Welcome to the Top 5
Welcome to the Top 5️⃣!
?? @MarvinVettori is the face of Italian MMA. #UFCVegas16 pic.twitter.com/2agixOR6F2
— UFC (@ufc) December 6, 2020
Marvin Vettori picked up the biggest win of his career at UFC on Vegas 16. In that event, Vettori dominated former Cage Warriors middleweight champion Jack Hermansson en route to a 49-46, 49-46-, 49-45 unanimous decision win. With the win, Vettori barged in the Top 5 of the UFC’s middleweight rankings and positioned himself as one of the top contenders in the division.
The 27-year old from Trento, Italy saw three scheduled fights cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19. But after Till pulled out of his fight against Hermansson, Vettori got a big break and made the most out of his opportunity. The former Venator FC welterweight champion has earned post fight bonuses in each of his last two bouts.
Vettori opened his UFC career with a 2-2-1 record but since almost defeating current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya at UFC on Fox 29 in 2018, the Italian Dream has picked up four straight victories. Vettori is 16-4 with two knockouts and nine wins via submission.
An Important Middleweight Fight
The Till vs Vettori bout is an important fight in the middleweight division. These Top 5 fighters will be fighting one week ahead of the showdown between no. 1 Robert Whitaker and no. 2 Paulo Costa and the winner here could very well figure in the next middleweight title fight.
Current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya is moving up in weight to face light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 on March 7th. UFC betting sites have pegged Izzy as the betting favorite to dethrone Blachowicz and he could very well end up becoming a two-division champion. While Adesanya isn’t giving up the middleweight belt, he could end up holding it hostage, which could set the stage for an interim title fight.
With four out of the Top 5 middleweight contenders fighting between April 10 and 17, those two bouts could be eliminators for a possible interim middleweight title fight. If not, one of the winners of those fights could be the next challenger for Adesanya once he returns to the division.