Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returned to action last night (Sat., Sept. 4, 2021) with UFC Vegas 36 going down from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the main event of the evening, Derek Brunson defeated Darren Till via third round submission (see it again here). In the co-headlining act, Tom Aspinall took out Sergey Spivak via first round technical knockout (highlights here).
Biggest Winner: Derek Brunson
Over the course of his career, Brunson always seemed to come up short right when he was on the cusp of earning a shot at the title. Last night, however, he broke through by scoring a big third round submission over Till. Brunson was on top of his game, utilizing his wrestling to take down “The Gorilla,” and then showed off his improved ground-and-pound that busted up his foe’s eye. To put the cherry on top, Brunson proved that his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt was warranted, locking in a fight-ending rear-naked choke in the third round to secure his fifth straight win. It should be good enough to bump him a spot or two in the rankings and earn him a shot at the title against the winner of Israel Adesnaya vs. Robert Whittaker 2. While “The Last Stylebender” has already shut him down, that won’t matter if UFC matchmakers (or Whittaker) have a say in the matter.
Runner Up: Paddy Pimblett
Pimblett came into his UFC debut with a ton of hype around him, and the English scrapper lived up to it ... all of it. Indeed, “The Baddy” put on a memorable performance by knocking out Luigi Vendramini in the first round in an entertaining scrap. Pimblett came out guns blazing from the get-go, firing off one shot after another to catch Vendramini’s attention. While his foe didn’t back down, Pimblett’s pressure was simply too much for him, putting him out for the count with a vicious combination that earned him a nice $50,000 post-fight bonus. He also got the stamp of approval from Dana White. It couldn’t have gone better for the new self-proclaimed king.
Biggest Loser: Darren Till
Till came in needing a win in in the worst way, but “The Gorilla” came up short once again, leaving the Octagon with his second straight loss. He is now 1-4 in his last five fights, a record that will likely take him out of the Top 10. While he is a big star for UFC’s European market, he still needs to win and he hasn’t done much of that in three years. It’s another tough setback for Till, who many expected to win a title by now. His title fight hopes have completely gone out the window and he will have a lot of ground to cover if he wants to get back in the hunt. More important, he will have to decide whether he wants to stay at Middleweight or drop back down for another run as a Welterweight.
For complete UFC Vegas 36 results and coverage click here.