Welcome to Midnight Mania!
When Darren Till was announced as Donald Cerrone’s rebound opponent as a main event back in 2017, the general response was a resounding, “Who?” Undefeated after three wins and a draw inside the Octagon, the then-24 year old had obvious talent, but he was a definite underdog opposite “Cowboy.”
As we all know, Till utterly destroyed Cerrone within a round. He later confirmed his contender status with a close victory over Stephen Thompson, going toe-to-toe with the Karate master for 25 minutes and dropping him late. Till seemed proven, ready for his title shot.
Then, Tyron Woodley outclassed him and Jorge Masvidal knocked him cold, forcing the question of whether it all came too soon for the Englishman. Check out Dana White’s thoughts on the subject, transcription courtesy of BJPenn.com:
“I think after the win over Cowboy, I pushed him a little soon. It happens. Sometimes when a guy gets that much steam behind them, pump the brakes a little here, and let him get back and work on the things he needs to work on. For some people (with a win over a guy like Cerrone), it’s the perfect time. For others, it’s too soon. That weight division is nasty. It’s like Murderer’s Row in that top-8.”
White continued that he believed Till will be back after some time spent at the drawing board.
It’s a really interesting question. On one hand, Till did break into the top five with a signature win, and dueling Thompson to an extremely close decision was all the champion had managed in two attempts. Still, that’s just two fights against top talent before being thrown in with the champion, a man with far more experience.
In my opinion, it’s not that Till was unprepared for the highest level of competition — he earned his title shot. However, both Woodley and Masvidal rank highly among the smartest veterans in the game, fighters whose fight IQ will likely outrank Till even with another two years of experience to his name. The two picked up on Till’s habits and exploited them masterfully, but that does not discount Till’s previous victories or skill.
Either way, it’ll be interesting to see how Till responds from his first career losing streak.
This is some really slick combination kicking.
Hopefully, no last minute injury derails the bout this time around.
How long before Ngannou sits atop this list?
Daniel Cormier gets revenge for the soda can kick.
Charles Oliveira’s Muay Thai improvements over the last couple years have been dramatic, and the Brazilian looks sharp on pads here.
A hard-fought takedown secures gold for Coach Lee Kemp in 1982.
I love this matchmaking. How have these two not fought before?
Slips, Rips, and KO clips
Killer left hook.
Hands up or head off the center line when kicking!
This guard pull to armbar is a basic technique, but it’s applied here with great form and quickness.
millenials 2500-year-old Siberian princesses with their tattoos and whatnot. Also, does she look vaguely similar to Cris Cyborg or is it just me?
My absolute favorite account on Instagram is this massively fat cat from Japan who always looks sad.
Music from the making of Midnight Mania: It’s a Joseph Benavidez fight week, which means it’s all Talking Heads, all the time to honor an icon. Also, my most recent walkout song!
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.