A bout that was hyped as a potential barnburner with big implications before the UFC Fight Night 76 event ever got started lived up to expectations on Saturday night as top welterweight and European prospects Darren Till and Nicolas Dalby claimed Fight of the Night honors and $50,000 each for their efforts. The UFC made the announcement at the event's post-fight presser in Dublin, Ireland.
Till was in command early and often, stifling Dalby's takedown attempts and work inside the clinch. The Liverpool native who now calls Brazil home worked from the outside, landing hard body kicks, a strong jab and left straight. At the end of the first, he dropped Dalby with a vicious uppercut and attempted to finish, but couldn't do so in time before the round ended.
While Till never landed that same sort of strike in the second frame, he easily controlled it with a pressuring if ineffective Dalby playing catch-up.
By the third round, however, fortunes changed dramatically. Till seemed to gas while Dalby poured on the pressure. He rocked Till with a series of unanswered punches, took him down and even passed to mount. Till was able to eventually stand and survive, but not without taking a tremendous beating in the third frame.
In the end, the two undefeated fighters stayed so as the bout was ruled a majority draw, 29-28 for Till and 28-28, 28-28 on the other two judges' scorecards.
Also earning $50,000 and a Performance of the Night award is top UK prospect and Tristar welterweight Tom Breese. The British fighter bludgeoned hometown fighter Cathal Pendred by seemingly breaking his nose and bloodying him early. Breese's jab and left straight seemed to work without any complications, battering Pendred all over the Octagon. Towards the end of the first, Breese landed a liver kick followed by two left straights that sent Pendred crumpled to the canvas. A short burst of additional ground and pound from the Firas Zahabi-coached fighter quickly closed the show as the referee stopped the fight at 4:37 of round 1.
Last, but certainly not least, Ireland's own Neil Seery also took home $50,000 and a Performance of the Night designation for his win over Jon Delos Reyes. The two had a spirited back and forth in the first round, but Seery was able to earn a guillotine choke submission finish as Reyes shot in for a double, hoisted Seery in the air and attempted to slam him. Instead, Seery sealed the guillotine choke and earned the tap at 4:12 of the second round.
UFC Fight Night 76 took place at the 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland. The event aired on UFC Fight Pass.