Cerrone or Till in Fight Night 218 Headliner?

Photo credit: Martial Arts Nomad (Flickr) CC License

While we wait for the Bisping vs St-Pierre super-fight in November, the UFC has a fun card lined up this Saturday (October 21st) at Fight Night 118. The headlining bout features the always entertaining Donald Cerrone facing the promising Darren Till. Also on the card is a bizarre match-up between women’s strawweight contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz and the unknown Jodie Esquibel. While they’re not significant fights from a title-belt perspective, they should provide the entertainment value that certain championship fights have been lacking lately (cough cough Tyrone Woodley).


UFC Fight Night 118 Odds

DONALD CERRONE (-160) vs DARREN TILL (+130)

Donald Cerrone (32-9) is looking to stage a comeback after suffering two consecutive losses earlier this year. He faces the young and undefeated Darren Till (15-0-1), a promising up-and-comer seeking his first win over a top-ten opponent. 

Cerrone began the year with a brutal loss to Jorge Masvidal, in which he was effectively knocked out twice. The fight occurred just a few weeks after his grueling tilt against Matt Brown, whom Cerrone managed to knock out after enduring two rounds of punishment. His most recent fight was a narrow decision loss to Robbie Lawler after three rounds of all-out brawling.

Till is a recent transplant to mixed martial arts from the world of Muay Thai, and he’s gotten his MMA career off to a great start. After defeating Bojan Veličković last month, he’s finally earned himself a shot at a noteworthy welterweight. He’s been an extremely proficient striker so far, but we’ll have to wait and see how effective he is against a high-level fighter.

Till’s ground game has yet to be tested and Cerrone will probably try to exploit his lack of grappling experience. If the fight goes to ground, Cerrone will definitely have the upper-hand. He is the more well-rounded fighter and has fought some of the best lightweights and welterweights around, which is bound to happen when you fight as often as he does. The 34-year-old has fought at least four times a year since 2013.

Cerrone has suffered some brutal losses in his career, and he’s not one to shy away from a slugfest. His last few fights, in particular, have left him worse for wear. It may be a little early for Till to be stepping into the cage against a top-ten welterweight, but Cerrone looks like he’s on his last legs. I’d take a chance on the youngster at +130. 

Pick: Darren Till (+130)



KAROLINA KOWALKIEWICZ (-450) vs JODIE ESQUIBEL (+325)

After back-to-back losses, Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-2) is in need of a morale boost. A fight against the unranked Jodie Esquibel (7-7-1) should do the trick. After flaming out in the qualifying rounds of The Ultimate Fighter, Esquibel makes her professional UFC debut against one of the fiercest competitors in the women’s strawweight division.

With as many wins as losses, Esquibel isn’t well-equipped to handle what Kowalkiewicz will throw at her. She’s smaller, less experienced, and less well-rounded. It’s a strange decision by the UFC matchmakers to throw her to the wolves like this.

There’s not much else to say. Bet on Kowalkiewicz and pray that Esquibel doesn’t suffer any lasting damage.

Pick: Karolina Kowalkiewicz (-450)