WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith provides a preview and two each-way selections for the sponsored card at Fontwell Park on Wednesday 20th October
|Robert Whittaker||10/11||To Win||Place Bet|
|Robert Whittaker||10/1||Round 2||Place Bet|
Date of Tips: 22/07/2020
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (09:59 22/07/2020) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
This is a very intriguing fight which sees a former middleweight champion coming off a defeat to the top guy in the division taking on a former welterweight who got a decision over a tough opponent in his first bout at middleweight.
Darren Till is that former welterweight and he had comprehensively lost his previous two welterweight bouts, albeit to Masvidal and Woodley, though it could be argued that he also lost the fight against Wonderboy the time before, but home town advantage played its part in the decision I feel. The UFC have invested a lot in Till, they need a ready replacement for Michael Bisping as it must definitely lift the profile of the UFC in the UK as well as impacting on revenues.So it’s no surprise that they’ve given him time and a good level of opponents in his fights, which is probably beyond the level he’s actually shown he can really perform at. He definitely needed the jump to middleweight as he had so many problems making the weight at welterweight, but the fact is he couldn’t impose himself physically or technically on those smaller guys so my worry has always been how is he going to do that to the bigger guys. Some pundits will tell you making the weight for those fights drained him, but I’m not convinced. Certainly that first fight against Gastelum wasn’t ultra convincing. As far as the stats go his UFC career has yielded a significant strike deficit which means he absorbs more significant strikes than he dishes out. 3.03 per minute absorbed to 2.41 per minute dished out on average. He also spends most of his time on his feet, with just 0.66 takedowns per 15 minutes on average in his UFC career. That tells us he likes to stay on his feet, but that also reinforces the fact that on his feet he’s receiving more punishment than he’s giving out which is a worry against Whittaker who also likes to stand up and trade.
That deficit of Till’s is in stark contrast to the surplus of the former champion Whittaker. He lands on average 4.82 significant strikes per minute and absorbs 3.65, giving him a strong surplus. That said he does absorb more shots that Darren Till does, but then again look at the last five fights he’s had and they’ve all been against proper banger, men who like to punch so that stat is hardly surprising. He too, like Till, spends little time in attempting a takedown with just 0.37 takedown attempts per 15 minutes inside the cage on average. Whittaker is a tough and classy fighter, who twice dealt with Romero before getting beaten by Adesanya who is by far and away the best in the division (when I’m sure he didn’t look himself pre fight like something was amiss at the time). Do you think if Till fought Romero twice that he’s beat him twice? Or even once? I’m not convinced he could beat him once. And that tells me a lot when it comes to weighing up this fight. I’ll counter this pretty much upbeat assessment of Whittaker’s chances with the fact that I do think that in the UFC, more so than boxing, that big losses like the one to Adesanya really do leave their mark and that certainly would be a worry here.
Of the other stats, the striking and grappling accuracy stats are pretty much similar as are their measurements – both 72 inches in height, Till’s reach is 74.5 to Whittaker’s 73.50, whilst the leg reaches are measured at 42 inches for Till and 43 inches for Whittaker. As far as age is concerned Till is 27 and Whittaker is 29, both easily in the prime years.
The stats have projected the following odds for the fight:
Till @ 2.54
Whittaker @ 1.65
So how do we best profit from this fight? Both are tough guys but Till has been stopped twice in emphatic fashion at welterweight and he’s up against a really tough genuine middleweight who has been mixing it at the top level for a long time against some of the biggest names and physically biggest guys in the division. I can see this fight being all stand-up and given how many shots Whittaker lands per minute on average it may be hard to see this fight going the distance. I think we keep it simple with a bet on WHITTAKER to win the fight at a best priced and general 1.91 (10-11) which is value given the stats suggest he should be no bigger than 1.65. I also think we should have a smaller bet on WHITTAKER TO WIN IN ROUND 2 at the general 10-1.
This UFC betting tip was provided by sports analyst Richard Stoddart.