Brunson (23-7) submitted Till (18-4-1) with a rear-naked choke at 2:13 of the third round. Although Till had a clear advantage in the striking game and gave Brunson some moments of concern, the American dominated on the ground, keeping the Englishman on the mat for seven minutes and 23 seconds of the fight.
Derek Brunson makes Darren Till tap in UFC Vegas 36 main event
“I saw a submission the whole time,” Brunson said afterward. “I’m really good on the ground, and I wanted to showcase it.”
It was Brunson’s first submission victory since 2013.
The defeat was Till’s third in his last four fights and completely pushes the native of Liverpool out of the contender discussion at middleweight. It also sends him into booking limbo as his fans of the popular fighter wonder what is next for the former welterweight title challenger.
In the co-main event, Tom Aspinall improved to 11-2 with a first-round technical knockout victory over ranked heavyweight Sergey Spivack. Aspinall connected with an elbow at 2:30 of the opening round.
Other notable winners included Khalil Rountree Jr., who ended Modestas Bukauskas’ night early with a ligament damaging kick to his knee in the second round. And superstar UK prospect Paddy Pimblett offered up a memorable TKO win in his Octagon debut against Luigi Vendramini.
UFC Vegas 36 performance bonus winners
- Fight of the Night: Molly McCann vs. Ji Yeon Kim
- Performance of the Night: Tom Aspinall
- Performance of the Night: Paddy Pimblett
–Field Level Media