Thursday, December 2, 2021

Darren Till: Edwards’ Title Shot Has To Come Sooner Rather Than Later

UFC middleweight contender Darren Till has suggested that Leon Edwards can win welterweight gold, but only if his compatriot gets a title shot soon.

Edwards, who was born in Jamaica but resides in Birmingham, England, was last in action at UFC 263 in June. Against Nate Diaz, “Rocky” extended his unbeaten streak to 10 fights with a comfortable victory over the Stockton native on the judges’ scorecards.

But despite not tasting defeat since his loss to current UFC Welterweight Champion Kamaru Usman back in 2015, and registering wins against Gunnar Nelson, former 155-pound champion Rafael dos Anjos, and fellow 170-pound top-five Vicente Luque, Edwards still finds himself behind Colby Covington in the queue for a shot at welterweight gold.

Nate Diaz Leon Edwards
Jun 12, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Leon Edwards moves in for a hit as Nate Diaz defends during UFC 263 at Gila River Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports ORG XMIT: IMAGN-452019 ORIG FILE ID: 20210612_gav_su5_197.jpg

Despite his previous indication to sit back and wait for the championship opportunity that many believe he deserves, Edwards received some advice from UFC President Dana White, who suggested the Englishman’s best bet is to remain active. According to Darren Till, the #3-ranked welterweight should be doing what he can to secure a title shot as soon as possible.

During a recent sit-down interview with BT Sport’s Nick Peet, ‘The Gorilla’ discussed his recent sparring sessions with Edwards, and revealed what Team Kaobon coach Colin Heron said about “Rocky.”

“One thing I will tell you about Leon Edwards, right, and this is coming from a man who very rarely compliments people, for me to get a compliment mate, I have to do some shit, is Colin Heron. And Leon trained with me and Colin, and after it, Colin was like, ‘he is very , very good.’ That to me, I was like ‘yeah.’ And then he was telling me little things what Leon and that does on the pads, and I was like, ‘sick.’ For Colin to say that, he’s very good.”

When asked whether he believes his fellow Englishman can reach the welterweight mountaintop, Till suggested it has to happen sooner rather than later.

“I would like to think that he gets the gold. But I would like to think that he needs, I think, the time has to come now rather than later, for him to get the shot. I think he’s ready for the shot now,” added Till. “I’ve had this debate with my strength and conditioning coach, who’s the same strength and conditioning coach as Leon, I think the time is now. And he’s like, ‘oh he can get another fight.’ I think his opportunity has to come now.”

While Edwards decides on his next step, Till will look to secure his own title shot in this weekend’s UFC Vegas 36 main event. ‘The Gorilla’ will face veteran middleweight Derek Brunson, and will look to deliver a performance worthy of booking a meeting with champion Israel Adesanya in the months after.

Do you agree with Darren Till? Does Leon Edwards need a championship opportunity sooner rather than later if he is to win gold?

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