England's Darren Till called for a big fight after his September win over Bojan Velickovic. He got it Saturday in the form of perennial welterweight contender Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone, and while some said it was too much too soon, Till delivered on his promises, stopping Cerrone in the first round of their UFC Fight Night main event at Ergo Arena in Gdansk, Poland.
“I believe I’m the best fighter alive,” said the 24-year-old, who may not have too many doubting him if he keeps delivering performances like he did against the Albuquerque veteran.
Till put the pressure on to start, prompting a takedown attempt by Cerrone that was rebuffed. In the second minute, Cerrone’s second try worked, but Till jumped right back to his feet, and the two briefly clinched until separating. Till confidently went right back on the attack, and while Cerrone was largely playing defense, he would fire back the occasional counter to keep his foe honest. With a minute left, though, Till struck, with a 1-2 rocking Cerrone. The veteran was never able to recover, and Till’s follow-up barrage was unanswered, leaving Marc Goddard no choice but to halt the fight at 4:20 of round one.
“I was unknown before this fight and ‘Cowboy’ gave me that opportunity,” said Till, who is unknown no more. And he’s already calling for his next foe, fellow rising star Mike Perry, who was Octagonside.
The beginning of the end! @DarrenTill2 with the beautiful combination that led to the finish! #UFCGdansk pic.twitter.com/BxGUbNI3W3
— UFC (@ufc) October 21, 2017
“Me and you are meant to fight,” said Till as he jawed with Perry, who has a December date with Santiago Ponzinibbio to get past first.
With the win, Liverpool’s Till ups his record to 16-0-1. The No. 6-ranked Cerrone, who has now lost three straight, falls to 32-10 with 1 NC.