This Saturday, the UFC returns to London for what has become its annual St Patrick’s Day event.
In the main event, the top-ranked welterweight in Europe, Darren Till (17-1-1 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC), takes on Jorge Masvidal (32-13 MMA, 9-6 UFC).
In the co-main, the second and third-ranked European welterweights, respectively, Leon Edwards (16-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) and Gunnar Nelson (17-3-1 MMA, 8-3 UFC) square off in what should be an intriguing battle.
Let’s take a look at the last three results of the two men in Saturday night’s main event:
Till’s first UFC main event was a memorable one, scoring a first-round TKO over veteran Donald Cerrone. He followed this victory with a controversial decision win against Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson- a performance that earned the Liverpudlian a shot at the UFC welterweight title.
The title-shot was not a successful one for Till, suffering the first defeat of his professional MMA career in a second-round submission defeat to Tyron Woodley. The defeat was an emphatic one for Till, who closed as the underdog with the bookmakers in each of his last three bouts.
Masvidal fought three times in 2017, following a second-round TKO win over Donald Cerrone with back-to-back decision defeats against Demian Maia and Stephen Thompson.
Four out of Masvidal’s last five defeats came via split-decision, which is perhaps something to keep in mind when considering his 9-6 UFC record.
Here’s a look at how these two fighters fared when competing against common opponents shared throughout their careers. On the left of the graphic, you’ll see how Till fared against any shared opponents and on the right, you’ll see Masvidal’s results against the same men.
The two men share two common opponents; Donald Cerrone and Stephen Thompson.
Both men scored early TKO wins over Cerrone and went the distance against Thompson. Till found himself on the winning end of a five-round unanimous decision verdict, whilst Masvidal suffered a three-round unanimous decision defeat.
The Dwyer Score
Each event, I calculate a ‘Dwyer Score’ for the card. It essentially gives a numeric value to the momentum of fighters competing at any one event. I do this by assigning a figure to each fighter’s current streak; a fighter on a five-fight winning streak contributes +5 to an event’s score, whilst a fighter on a two-fight losing streak contributes -2 to the score. Only UFC results are considered and a fighter coming off a no-contest, a draw, or a bout with another promotion has a streak of 0. When you tally up the scores for every fighter on a card, you get a total for the event- the ‘Dwyer Score.’ This score does not claim to predict or measure the quality or excitement of any one card, but it does give you an idea of the general momentum of fighters heading into a specific event. The graphic to the above-right displays some of the highest-scoring Fight Night events of all time, to help give some context to this score.
UFC Fight Night 147: Darren Till vs. Jorge Masvidal posts a strong score of +18.
This score ranks joint-12th out of 39 events in the past year and joint-4th out of 23 Fight Nights in the same time frame.
Here’s a look at how this score compares to other events’ scores over the past year:
As you can see, this score far exceeds the +7.6 average for Fight Night events over the past twelve months, as well as the +12.2 average for all events in the same time frame.
Let’s take a look at exactly how this score breaks down:
The highest individual contributor to the score is Leon Edwards (+6), with Dominick Reyes, José Alberto Quiñónez and Arnold Allen (all +4) close behind.
The lowest scorer is Marc Diakiese (-3), followed by Jorge Masvidal, Volkan Oezdemir, Jack Marshman, John Phillips and Saparbek Safarov (all -2). Two fighters are making their promotional debuts on this card.
Enjoy the fights!