Darren Till has some helpful advice for fighters on how to get the matches they want, and he is speaking from very recent personal experience.
At UFC Vegas 36, Darren Till will lock horns with #5-ranked middleweight Derek Brunson in the main event. The fight makes sense from a rankings perspective, with Till only two spots behind Brunson at #7. However, it didn’t initially make sense for the higher-ranked Brunson, who has won four consecutive fights while Till has lost three of his last four. But after Till had a candid discussion with his future opponent, there was no trouble getting the fight made.
“I didn’t message his manager Ali [Abdelaziz], who I get along well with; I didn’t message anyone. I just messaged Derek [Brunson],” Till revealed in an interview with TheMacLife. “I was like, ‘Derek, listen, I want to fight you, mate. Do you want to fight me?’ And he said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘OK, when will you be ready?’ I said, ‘I’m injured right now; when will you be ready?’ And he was like, ‘I want to fight again in July or August.’ And I said, ‘Well, that’s too early for me for recovery.’ I said, ‘What about later?’ And he was like, ‘Mm, I don’t know.’
“I said, ‘Derek, you’re not getting a bigger fight than me apart from Adesanya. So pick me. Like, come on, let’s go, bro. Let’s do it.’ And he was like, ‘Yeah, OK.’
Darren Till believes there is a lesson to be learned here for fighters at every level to get the fights they want: skip the middle man and go straight to the source. Furthermore, Till states that any attempts to include the matchmakers in public negotiations on social media are futile.
“I hate it when fighters go on Twitter and tag the fighter they want to fight, Sean Shelby, Mick Maynard, and Dana White,” Till continued. “Let me tell all these fighters out there right now: If you’re new, or even if you’ve been around for a long time, Sean Shelby does not check his Twitter. He doesn’t check his Twitter. He doesn’t even check his fuckin’ phone. Stop tagging Sean and Mick. If you feel the UFC are not matchmaking you (right), DM the fighter. DM the fighter and say, ‘Do you want to fight?’ Now if that other fighter’s not bullshittin’ around, the fight’s gonna get made.”
You can check out Darren Till’s full interview with TheMacLife below.