Last Updated Aug 31, 2021, 5:00 PM
UFC Vegas 36: Brunson vs. Till Predictions, Picks, Odds
UFC Vegas 36 Betting Preview & Predictions
On Saturday, Middleweights Darren Till and Derek Brunson will lock horns in the UFC Apex for the UFC Vegas 36.
UFC Vegas 36 consists of 10 bouts with notable appearances from Heavyweight prospect Tom Aspinall in the the co-main event, as well as unbeaten 135-pound prospect Jack Shore. Shore will put his 14-0 record on the line against Liudvik Sholinian.
Newly-signed Cage Warriors prospect Paddy Pimblett will also feature on the main card of Saturday’s lineup, as he takes on Luigi Vendramini in a three-round 155-pound bout.
UFC Vegas 36 starts earlier than most cards, so European fans won’t have to stay up all night to catch the main event action. The prelims are slated to kick off around 1:30 p.m. (ET), however, the main card begins at 4:00 p.m. so expect Till and Brunson to make their ring walks around 6:00 p.m.
UFC Vegas 36 Bouts & Odds
- Middleweight: Darren Till (-185) vs. Derek Brunson (+150)
- Heavyweight: Tom Aspinall (-250) vs. Serghei Spivac (+210)
- Flyweight: Alex Perez (-) vs. Matt Schnell (-)
- Welterweight: Alex Morono (-165) vs. David Zawada (+140)
- Lt. Heavyweight: Modestas Bukauskas (-155) vs. Khalil Ronutree Jr. (+130)
- Lightweight: Paddy Pimblett (-135) vs. Luigi Vendramini (+115)
- Wo. Flyweight: Ji Yeon Kim (-115) vs. Molly McCann (-105)
- Bantamweight: Jack Shore (-450) vs. Liudvik Sholinian (+350)
- Featherweight: Charles Jourdain (-190) vs. Julian Erosa (+155)
- Middleweight: Marc-Andre Barriault (-150) vs. Dalcha Lungiambula (+125)
- Bantamweight: Jonathan Martinez (-155) vs. Marcelo Rojo (+130)
Striking specialist Darren Till, 28, takes on the 9-year older wrestler Derek Brunson on Saturday.
This is a must-win for Till, as a loss to Brunson would put him on a two-fight skid. A loss would not be the end of the UFC journey for the Englishman, but it would wipe out his title aspirations for the near foreseeable future. However due to Till’s star status he will never be more than a few good wins away from a title shot. A performance-of-the-night bonus win over Brunson leaves him next in line for a title eliminator against Cannonier who recently beat Gastelum.
Brunson, 37, is riding on the biggest win streak of his career coming into Saturday’s fight. Derek is yet again the underdog but has been tearing up the sportsbooks in his recent run, as he has been priced at plus-money in three of his last four. He has gotten the ‘dub in all of those four outings.
Brunson vs. Till Best Bet
While Till is the better striker in theory, his advantages on the feet are not reflected in the statistics and that’s not good. Brunson pretty much has the edge over him in every statistical field of fighting, and the sole advantage Till is left with is the fact that he is nine-years younger than Brunson.
Darren is a gifted power striker, but his volume is painstakingly low, which is why he usually struggles to win handily when he goes to the scorecards.
In Till’s entire UFC career, his punches-landed record is 49. He probably does have a great deal of power in his hands, but I will go out on a limb here and say he will need to break that record to beat Brunson over the course of five rounds. Otherwise he will simply get outwrestled and outperformed on the strike totals.
Sure, Till could get a signature knockout, but have we really seen his power translate to 185-pounds? He hasn’t gotten an official knockdown since moving up from 170-pounds, unless you count the elbow against Whittaker.
I believe Till will need a finish to win, and Brunson could easily cruise to a decision and get his hand raised. It’s not a matter of whether Brunson will get Till down, it’s a matter of whether Darren will be able to get back up -- because he will be taken down on Saturday.
I will never pick against a wrestler who outperforms a striker in the striking statistics.
Best Bet: Derek Brunson +150
Fellow Englishman and loyal training partner to Darren Till, Tom Aspinall, has become quite the Heavyweight prospect since joining the UFC a year ago. The 28-year old has already fought three times and has gotten his hand raised inside the distance every time.
Aspinall most recently scored a performance-of-the-night bonus submission against former Heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski, and is looking to continue his ascend up the divisional ladder against Serghei Spivac this weekend.
Spivac is another young contender in the heavyweight talent pool. I will be careful not to label him a prospect here, as I think that label is thrown around too much nowadays, but he is still 4-2 in the UFC against decent competition, so he’s not far from it.
A win over Aspinall would certainly be huge for the 26-year old Moldovan-Ukrainian mixed martial artist.
Aspinall vs. Spivac Best Bet
As you can see in the statistics above, Spivac has some cause for concern on Saturday. Just judging by recent outings, Aspinall is the far more technically advanced fighter of the two, so I’m not just blindly following the statistics -- Aspinall is the real deal.
That said, Spivac possibly has one advantage, and that is his average fighting time. He has gone the full-fifteen on three occasions, while Aspinall has yet to see the midway point of the second round in the UFC.
If Serghei wants to win, I think he needs to make this fight ugly and drag it into the later rounds. But can he survive long enough to get the better of Aspinall? Probably not.
Spivac does have pretty great cardio though, and his third round is usually his best. He has never gone to the third round without winning it unanimously in the UFC.
All things aside though, Aspinall’s striking is too much for ‘Polar Bear’, and I honestly think this is a step down in competition from his last test against Arlovski -- a savvy veteran who despite his age has been known to beat the younger and more inexperienced guys when matched up against them.
Aspinall is just too fast and powerful. My rule for backing prospects like Aspinall is usually: as long as the opponent doesn’t bring anything crazy to the table, there’s a good chance the prospect will win. The UFC matchmakers aren’t as cold blooded as they’re sometimes made out to be, and they’re always looking to find new prospects to drive ticket sales, especially in Europe.
Spivac doesn’t bring anything crazy to the table.
Best Bet: Tom Aspinall -250
Odds & Bouts Subject to Change - per BetMGM