Jorge Masvidal impressively played the role of spoiler with a second-round knockout of Darren Till in the main event of UFC Fight Night 147 at the O2 Arena Saturday in London, England.
Till took control of the fight early. After a low blow from Masvidal just a second into the fight, The Gorilla floored his opponent with a straight left.
Gamebred was ready to show his trademark toughness, though. He got back to his feet and was able to time up a few shots of his own to make it a competitive opening round.
Till would pay for his inability to put away Masvidal early. Gamebred connected cleanly with a left hook that turned the fight on a dime and sent Till crumbling to the mat to a stunned and silenced O2 Arena crowd.
After the bout, Masvidal used the spotlight to campaign for a title shot:
The win gives the 34-year-old his first win since January 2017. He had dropped two fights in a row heading into a bout with the highly hyped Till.
It was an assorted night of fights for the London crowd. Before the welterweight contender fight, Leon Edwards made his claim as a contender in his own right, Nathaniel Wood introduced himself as a bantamweight prospect and Claudio Silva picked up a controversial submission win.
Main card (ESPN+ now)
- Jorge Masvidal def. Darren Till via second-round KO (3:05)
- Leon Edwards def. Gunnar Nelson via split decision
- Dominick Reyes def. Volkan Oezdemir via split decision
- Nathaniel Wood def. Jose Alberto Quinonez via submission (RNC) (R2, 2:46)
- Claudio Silva def. Danny Roberts via submission (verbal, armbar) (R3, 3:37)
- Jack Marshman def. John Phillips via unanimous decision (28-29, 29-28 x2)
- Arnold Allen def. Jordan Rinaldi via UD (30-27, 30-26, 29-28)
- Marc Diakiese def. Joseph Duffy via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
- Saparbek Safarov def. Nicolae Negumereanu via UD (29-26 x2, 29-27)
- Dan Ige def. Danny Henry via submission (RNC) (R1, 1:17)
- Molly McCann def. Priscila Cachoeira via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
- Mike Grundy def. Nad Narimani via second-round TKO (4:42)
Leon Edwards vs. Gunnar Nelson
Leon Edwards is an oft-overlooked welterweight, but he did his best to reverse that trend against Gunnar Nelson. Going against a feared submission artist, Edwards wasn't afraid to mix it up with him on the mat and picked up a huge split-decision win.
Edwards surprisingly won the first round by virtue of his top game and ground-and-pound. In the second, the Brit scored a knockdown to accentuate his scoring:
It didn't have the most fireworks, but it did showcase Edwards' skills. The 27-year-old has now won seven in a row. His last loss came against current champion Kamaru Usman in 2015.
After the bout, Edwards voiced his displeasure with not being in the main event:
Volkan Oezdemir vs. Dominick Reyes
For fans of Dominick Reyes, there was good news and bad news.
The good news is that the 29-year-old moved his unbeaten record to 11-0 against Volkan Oezdemir. The bad news is that he proved he's nowhere near ready for a title shot in the process.
Oezdemir got the nod on one judge's scorecard and got praise from the commentary team for moving forward. He forced Reyes to fight off his back foot at times.
Fortunately for The Devastator, he was able to showcase some counterstriking and did just enough to earn the decision. Despite the so-so performance, Reyes still decided to let champion Jon Jones know he's coming for him:
The win should be enough that we see Reyes get a big-name opponent next time out, but he has a lot of work to do before he earns a title shot.
Nathaniel Wood vs. Jose Alberto Quinonez
Nathaniel Wood might be outgrowing his "Prospect" nickname soon. The 25-year-old put on a thoroughly impressive performance against veteran Jose Alberto Quinonez with a second-round submission win.
The London native showed off a well-rounded game while the fight lasted. Quinonez was able to put Wood in some disadvantageous positions, but The Prospect was never behind in the fight.
Wood was able to lock in a rear-naked choke and secure a third-consecutive submission win in the UFC. He had finished all four of his Cage Warriors fights by knockout or TKO.
Bantamweight is an absolutely stacked division, but it appears that Wood is going to add to the stockpile of talent there. He's ready for another step up in competition after that performance.
Danny Roberts vs. Claudio Silva
The margin for error when on the ground with Claudio Silva is very small. Danny Roberts found that out the hard way en route to a third-round submission loss.
The two welterweights put on a back-and-forth fight for the fans before the submission finish. Roberts was successful with his boxing when the fight was on the feet, but Silva's smothering grappling game also shone throughout the fight.
Silva threatened with submissions throughout the bout, but Roberts created scrambles and space to get off his own offense.
However, the cat-and-mouse submission game finally came to a head in the third round. Holding top position, Roberts left his arm in Silva's grasp for just a little too long, which allowed him to latch on to an armbar.
The referee stopped the bout because of a verbal submission, but Roberts denied verbally submitting after the bout:
Silva is now 4-0 in the UFC and hasn't lost since 2007. If the 36-year-old can stay healthy, he is an underrated contender to watch in the division.
Jack Marshman vs. John Phillips
Jack Marshman and John Phillips kicked off the London card with a middleweight fight between two Welshmen that disappointed.
Both Marshman and Phillips are known for being brawlers, but the bout was mostly docile as Marshman picked up the win on two of the judges' scorecards.
Phillips was able to floor his fellow countrymen with a right hook as his opponent was moving away, but he allowed him to get back up before finishing out the round:
From there, Marshman held the slight advantage in the exchanges. It wasn't a great start to the card or a great moment for either fighter's career. Both brought two-fight losing streaks into the event.
It would be surprising to see Phillips back in the Octagon as he is now 0-3 since moving to the UFC.