It’s hard to call any MMA fight ‘easy’ on paper. What appears to be the most lopsided of match-ups will inevitably involve weeks of grinding preparation, travel, and media obligations – to mention nothing of MMA’s relatively unpredictable nature as an athletic contest. It’s a sport where even heavy favorites who walk away with the win routinely find themselves in much more difficult battles than the odds would have suggested.
However, it’s also hard to call the fight that Tyron Woodley had against Darren Till at UFC 228 exceptionally challenging either. Following their battle in Dallas, TX, Fight Metric stats revealed that Till landed exactly one strike over nine minutes of action, before being submitted in the second round.
It was an exceptionally dominating performance from the welterweight champion, but one that came against an opponent who didn’t necessarily seem ready for the challenge. And because of that, it’s drawing some unexpected criticism from former welterweight title challenger Nick Diaz.
“I never had an easy fight in my whole life,” Nick Diaz said in a video on his Instagram story feed talking about the UFC 228 main event. “Fight that kid? I wouldn’t take one, I wouldn’t take it. It’s like, stop making bullshit fights with this guy.”
To Woodley’s credit (and perhaps the betting public’s folly) Till was, in fact, the betting favorite heading into the event. The Liverpudlian opened at +120 to T-Wood, but closed at -137 on fight night. Till was even as low as +170 on some books to win by KO. At the very least, he was perceived as an unusually strong title challenger by many – even if the results painted a much different picture.
Diaz, meanwhile, hasn’t been seen in MMA competition since an enigmatic performance against Anderson Silva at UFC 183, back in 2015. Since then, he’s mostly been in the news due to legal battles. First with his successful reduction of suspension after the Nevada State Athletic Commission attempted to hand him a 5-year ban from MMA over a failed drug test for marijuana. And most recently his clearance on domestic violence charges stemming from an alleged altercation with a woman earlier this year.
However, Diaz has been teasing a return to the cage for quite a while now. And while it’s unlikely he’d be jumping into title contention (if he ever does make a comeback) any fight he takes would be likely to result in must-watch action for fans.