Derek Brunson’s last four opponents were all widely considered future title-contenders. Brunson defeated all of them, so now the veteran slugger believes that lofty designation of title-challenger should belong to him. Brunson will try to cement his case for a shot at the belt when he faces upstart Darren Till on Saturday in the main event of UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Till. The battle of ranked middleweights anchors the main UFC fight card (4 p.m. ET) from the Apex facility in Las Vegas. The fifth-ranked Brunson’s winning streak has come against prized prospects, allowing him to shed the dreaded gatekeeper label and become a contender himself. He has one more test to pass in Till, who reached a title shot at welterweight but is just 1-1 in two outings as a middleweight.
Till is a -160 favorite (risk $160 to win $100), while Brunson is a +140 underdog in the latest Brunson vs. Till odds from Caesars Sportsbook. In the co-main event, ranked heavyweights take the stage as No. 13-ranked Tom Aspinall is the -250 favorite in the UFC Fight Night odds against No. 14-ranked Sergey Spivak (+200). Before making any UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Till picks, make sure you see the expert MMA predictions from SportsLine analyst Ian Parker.
A former fighter who’s been in the industry for more than 15 years, Parker has managed some of the world’s best, including former UFC middleweight champ Chris Weidman, Costas Philippou and Gian Villante. Parker trained alongside UFC Hall of Famer Matt Serra. Now, Parker breaks down fights and makes betting picks for the Voice of the UFC, Jon Anik.
Parker is coming off a mind-boggling 2020 season. On the Anik & Florian Podcast, Parker went an astounding 58-14, returning $9,465 to $100 bettors who followed him. He hit 11 of his 17 underdog picks and 19 of 30 main events. Overall, Parker nailed an astonishing 81 percent of his plays.
The MMA analyst also continues to build on a massively profitable 2021 campaign for SportsLine members. Just last week at UFC Fight Night, Parker called a victory for Giga Chikadze (+100) over veteran Edson Barboza (-120) in the featherweight main event. Chikadze took control of a close fight in the third round to earn a stoppage and give Parker’s followers another easy winner. Anyone who has followed him has seen huge returns.
Now, with UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Till in sight, Parker has carefully studied the MMA odds and matchups from every angle and released his expert picks and predictions. A successful parlay of these picks would result in a payout of 6-1. You can only see these expert UFC picks at SportsLine.
UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Till preview
Parker knows the main event could play a major role in a division that is struggling to find fresh, viable title-contenders. Sitting champion Israel Adesanya reportedly will fight a rematch against former champion Robert Whittaker next, though no date has been set.
Adesanya also has defeated every other top-five contender except for third-ranked Jared Cannonier, who could be in contention following his recent win over Kelvin Gastelum. Brunson hasn’t lost since getting stopped by Adesanya in the first round three years ago, and a win Saturday should cement his case for his own rematch.
Brunson (22-7), 37, has looked fresh and dangerous of late. He has used his combination of wrestling and striking to keep opponents off-balance while avoiding the unnecessary risks that cost him fights earlier in his career.
Even so, Adesanya has long spoken of his desire to take on Till, provided the British power puncher produces a resume to deserve the opportunity. Till (18-3-1) has yet to prove his case in the cage, going 1-1 since he moved up to middleweight following consistent struggles to make the 170-pound welterweight limit.
Till has split two fights at middleweight, losing a lopsided decision to Whittaker and squeaking by with a lackluster split decision against Gastelum in November 2019. A victory over Brunson would show he’s capable of beating a legitimate top-five contender at middleweight. You can only see who to back here.
UFC Fight Night: Bruson vs. Till predictions
We’ll share one of Parker’s UFC Fight Night predictions here: He is going with Charles Jourdain (-185) to get his hand raised against Julian Erosa (+165) in a matchup of featherweight prospects.
The bout is taking place at an agreed catchweight of 150 pounds because Erosa took the fight on short notice and informed UFC brass he would be unable to make the 145-pound featherweight limit in such a short time window. Jourdain agreed to the change, and the result is a battle that Parker says he believes could emerge as a strong Fight of the Night candidate.
Erosa (25-9) is a grappling specialist who also has heavy hands and is known for partaking in exciting bouts. The 32-year-old Seattle native already has faced a gauntlet of similarly dangerous prospects since joining the UFC three years ago. He has gone 4-4 in eight appearances and saw a three-fight win streak halted by a first-round stoppage loss to Seung Woo Choi in June.
Jourdain (11-3-1), 25, has also shown a versatile skill set while struggling to get consistent traction against UFC opposition. The Canadian fighter is 2-2-1 in five outings and is looking to build on a third-round stoppage of Marcelo Rojo in March.
“Jourdain will be the more technical and precise striker. As long as he doesn’t allow Erosa to take him down and hold him there, I expect Jourdain to win this one on the feet,” Parker told SportsLine.
How to make UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Till picks
Parker has locked in strong picks for Brunson vs. Till and every other bout on the UFC Fight Night card. He’s also backing one fighter who will “pressure with strikes early, put his opponent on his back and take control.” Those selections are only available at SportsLine.
Who wins Brunson vs. Till? And which fighter will take complete control of his bout? Visit SportsLine now to get detailed top picks on UFC Fight Night, all from the ultimate insider who was up almost $9,500 on MMA picks last year, and find out.
UFC Fight Night odds, fight card
Derek Brunson (+140) vs. Darren Till (-160)
Tom Aspinall (-250) vs. Sergey Spivak (+200)
Alex Perez (-300) vs. Matt Schnell (+250)
Alex Morono (-155) vs. David Zawada (+135)
Modestas Bukauskas (-155) vs. Khalil Rountree (+135)
Paddy Pimblett (-135) vs. Luigi Vendramini (+115)
Ji Yeon Kim (-115) vs. Molly McCann (-105)
Jack Shore (-475) vs. Liudvik Sholinian (+380)
Charles Jourdain (-185) vs. Julian Erosa (+165)
Marc-Andre Barriault (-150) vs. Dalcha Lungiambula (+130)
Jonathan Martinez (-170) vs. Marcelo Rojo (+150)