Former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya pinpointed an important mistake that Darren Till made prior to his submission defeat against Dricus du Plessis.
This past weekend at UFC 282, one-time welterweight title challenger Till returned to action for the first time in over a year, looking to bring his 185-pound record in the promotion to an equal 2-2.
Unfortunately for “The Gorilla,” he was unable to bounce back by stalling the charge of South Africa’s du Plessis. Aside from the second round, “Stillknocks” was on top for much of the contest, eventually finding the submission finish in the final frame.
A statement submission for @DricusduPlessis!
[ #UFC282 | Live on ESPN+ PPV: https://t.co/vZGZfAJS5g ] pic.twitter.com/8pPhdoV8Qk
One man who watched the action closely was the division’s former king, Adesanya. Having been dethroned last month at UFC 281 by Alex Pereira, “The Last Stylebender” perhaps has a closer eye on those looking to close the gap to him in the rankings.
In a video uploaded to his YouTube channel, Adesanya can be seen reacting to the major matchups and moments on offer inside Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on Saturday night.
In the first round of Till and du Plessis’ Fight of the Night contest, “The Gorilla” found himself eating heavy shots whilst pinned up against the fence. Adesanya put the Liverpool native’s inability to escape the position down to a “mental block.”
“Darren needs to actually like, fight. Don’t just sit there,” Adesanya said as du Plessis delivered hard blows to the head of Till. “That’s a mental block. You can’t keep saying, ‘I’m okay,’ because now you’re not okay. He could have got out and had space. Urgency, urgency, urgency.”
Adesanya also echoed the same sentiment as others during the contest, calling for Till to attack the body of a du Plessis who many believed was somewhat fatigued in the second round.
“Body kick from Darren. Do a body kick from Darren, because his hands are all the way up… He’s breathing so heavy, body kick him,” Adesanya commented.
Having found success with his lead-in elbow in round two, Till looked for the same attack again in the final stanza. This time, du Plessis ducked the shot with a level change and secured the takedown, with what appeared to be a neck crank forcing the tap seconds later.
On that, Adesanya identified Till’s repeated use of the elbow as a crucial mistake, with “Stillknocks” adjusting his game to counter it effectively.
“Look, the elbow again,” Adesanya pointed out as du Plessis secured the takedown that ultimately led to the finish.
“He tried to do the same thing again. The guy blitzed and he went for the elbow, and he just knew, ’cause the guy already ate the elbow how many times? He shot in the middle. Look, look at the elbow. The guy knows. Don’t do the same f*cking thing over and over again.”
While Till will now need to return to the drawing board as his woes inside the Octagon continue, du Plessis is expecting to find himself inside the top 10 come the next rankings update.
With that, a matchup against Adesanya will perhaps be on the table soon enough should he maintain his undefeated UFC record next time out.
What did you make of Darren Till’s performance at UFC 282? Do you agree with Israel Adesanya’s assessment?
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