The O2 Arena was quietened by American fighter Jorge Masvidal on Saturday night, as he scored a stunning one-punch knockout of English superstar Darren Till in the shocking outcome of the UFC London main event.
Veteran fighter Masvidal uncorked a vicious left hand at the 3:05 mark of the second round, immediately separating Till from his senses as the cavernous venue went from a roaring frenzy in support of their countryman to an almost eerie silence in the blink of an eye.
Till, who has now lost two straight at welterweight, was prone on the canvas for several minutes after the conclusion of the fight as he was treated by medical personnel but was soon helped to a stool.
“This is amazing, this is mind-blowing,” the victorious Masvidal said in the cage after the fight before addressing the crowd directly.
“Whether you booed or cheered, everyone showed me so much love on the streets.”
It was stunning upset, reflected by the oddsmakers who had placed Till as a heavy favorite leading into the contest. Masvidal, though, had assured the media all week that he was not just going to win, but that he would do so in devastating fashion.
Jorge freaking Masvidal just KO’d Darren Till cold. Wow. Second round. Gamebred ain’t done yet. Westchester’s own.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) March 16, 2019
However, it could all have gone in a different direction in the bout’s opening exchanges. After an accidental groin strike by Masvidal early, for which Till was allocated time to recover, the Englishman dropped his opponent with the type of laser-sighted left hand on which he has built his blossoming reputation.
That would be Till’s only real moment of clear-cut ascendency. Masvidal, as wily a boxer as there is on the UFC roster, was timing Till’s attacks well and found success with numerous hooks to the chin as the Liverpudlian – famed for his ‘in out’ style of attack – all of which were dismissed with a nod of his head.
Well, not all. The stunning conclusion to the fight followed the blueprint which Masvidal had established in the fight up to that point. This time, though, the power was correctly harnessed and directly transferred to the Englishman’s jaw.
“This guy’s tough, damn he’s f***ing good,” Masvidal said of his opponent. “He’s going to be a tiger one day. Pick him up.“
As for what is next for the American fighter after the highest profile victory on his UFC ledger?
“I need that belt wrapped around my waist.”