UFC: Ultimate Fighting Goes to London

Jorge+Masvidal%2C+red%2C+lands+a+left+hook+on+Darren+Till%2C+black%2C+that+sends+him+falling+down+in+the+main+event+on+Saturday+night.+Till+has+now+lost+two+fights+in+a+row+after+starting+off+his+career+17-0.+Photo+credit%3A+Steven+Flynn%2C+USA+Today.
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UFC: Ultimate Fighting Goes to London

Jorge Masvidal, red, lands a left hook on Darren Till, black, that sends him falling down in the main event on Saturday night. Till has now lost two fights in a row after starting off his career 17-0. Photo credit: Steven Flynn, USA Today.

Jorge Masvidal, red, lands a left hook on Darren Till, black, that sends him falling down in the main event on Saturday night. Till has now lost two fights in a row after starting off his career 17-0. Photo credit: Steven Flynn, USA Today.

Jorge Masvidal, red, lands a left hook on Darren Till, black, that sends him falling down in the main event on Saturday night. Till has now lost two fights in a row after starting off his career 17-0. Photo credit: Steven Flynn, USA Today.

Jorge Masvidal, red, lands a left hook on Darren Till, black, that sends him falling down in the main event on Saturday night. Till has now lost two fights in a row after starting off his career 17-0. Photo credit: Steven Flynn, USA Today.

David Ibarra, Reporter

It was an eventful night at the O2 Arena Saturday, March 16. The main event of the night saw Darren Till suffer his second loss in a row, this time in a much more devastating fashion. No. 13 ranked Welterweight Jorge Masvidal connected with a shattering left hook that turned the lights off for the former title challenger. The official stoppage was at 3 minutes and 5 seconds in the second round of the five-round bout.

The fight before the knockout was a fast-paced battle between the two scrappers. It seemed as if Till had been leading the fight in the first round.  Masvidal, struggling with finding distance control on a much larger opponent, was knocked down with the first punch Till threw. After recovering, the fight became much more balanced as Masvidal did a good job of using kicks to keep Till on the outside. Towards the end of the first round and much of the second round leading to the finish, Masvidal appeared to have switched the momentum in his favor. With a slick side step to misdirect Till, the Miami native connected with 2 left hooks that put Till out and followed up with one extra shot while on the ground. The performance earned Masvidal performance of the night and fight of the night bonuses.

This defeat comes as a reminder of the nightmarish consequences that come with a top five fighter taking on another fighter that is far behind in the rankings. There is far more to lose than there is to win in situations such as the ones that presented itself last night. Till, riding the momentum of being a favorite, younger, and bigger fighter was introduced to a reality that far outweighs the benefits of taking such a fight. It speaks to not only Till’s mantra to fight “anyone, anytime”, but to the ability of Masvidal to shine in the moment where it all matters.

After the bout, Till was transported to a local hospital for safety reasons but was reported to be “all good” by his coach Colin Heron.

The co-main event of the night showcased the abilities of another welterweight force in Leon Edwards taking a dominant split decision over Gunnar Nelson. Nelson, who had been the fan favorite during the bout, seemed to have trouble establishing his game plan throughout the bout. Edwards made it impossible for Nelson to showcase his jiu jitsu abilities, as he was always the better of the two when it came to grappling. The fight almost ended at the end of the second round when Edwards connected with a devastating elbow while breaking away from a grappling exchange that sent Nelson to the ground. Nelson developed a huge hematoma under his right eye.

After the fight, Edwards called for his next fight to be the winner of the main event.

After the event, a scuffle ensued between Masvidal and Edwards during a post-fight interview segment. Video captured by Jed Goodman on Twitter shows Masvidal abruptly cut his interview short and approach Edwards telling him to “say it to my face”. Masvidal claims Edwards had been heckling the main event winner throughout his interview. When confronted, Masvidal let off a three-hit combination on Edwards and was taken away. Both fighters were escorted from the building.

Edwards opted not to press charges.

With the welterweight division heating up, this post-fight drama will sure fuel the fire for these two to eventually meet in the near future.

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