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Brunson vs. Till analysis, prediction

The main event in Las Vegas features a fun meeting of middleweights whose southpaw sensibilities swing toward the muay Thai spectrum of striking.

Embodying his own version of the art of eight limbs, Till mixes in a unique brand of southpaw swagger that is reined in by head coach Colin Heron. Despite the bravado that the Englishman exudes, Till smartly works behind subtle feints and solid footwork while creating angles that allow him to capitalize on his opponent’s reactions.

Slightly akin to another famous European southpaw, Till packs a powerful left cross that he creates openings for off of pressure. The 28-year-old also throws left Thai kicks that tend to flow off of his left-handed threats, but he could get more than he bargains for should he throw them nakedly (without setup) against his current counterpart.

That said, I do suspect we may continue to see more weapons and tactics brought to the table by Till. Admittedly fighting through injuries during the main stretch of his UFC tenure, Till seemed to limit himself to just a few choice weapons.

In his defense, Till has tried to open up in more recent efforts, whether it be by showing moves like oblique kicks or the occasional shift to orthodox in order to launch power kicks from the other side. Though both of those will serve him well in theory, I will still be curious to see how Till adapts in both the clinching and countering department.

Enter [autotag]Derek Brunson{/autotag].

From his time spent with Jackson Wink MMA to his specialty training with muay Thai legend Manu Ntoh, Brunson has become a lot more than just an All-American wrestler who can throw his hands.

Whether Brunson is stalking opponents down with marching variations or his shuffle-steps into space, the 11-year pro will put himself in prime position to land shots from the power side of his southpaw stance. Having a knack for placing powerful kicks, Brunson also has improved his hands over the past few years, being particularly dangerous when punching his way in or out of the pocket.

However, despite Brunson’s previous improvements, his brawling instincts have proven to sometimes get the better of him, either costing him emphatic counters in defeat or lackluster affairs that have resulted in close decision losses.

Since suffering his last defeat at the hands of now-champion Israel Adesanya, Brunson finally has gotten himself back under the care of a big camp, hooking up with Henri Hooft and company at Sanford MMA. In the subsequent time, we have seen Brunson bring a much more measured and balanced approach to his pressure en route to his recent victories, displaying the ability to fight at a decent pace for three or more rounds.

Though I’m sure that experience likely will serve Brunson well on paper, I suspect that he’ll need to successfully layer his threats with offensive wrestling if he means to properly get his game going.

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