UFC middleweight contender Darren Till is hoping to avoid the main event spotlight when he returns to the Octagon later this year.
Since falling short of middleweight gold in 2018, Till has had a tough time in the UFC. In his last five fights, the Liverpudlian has gone 1-4, a record that includes a brutal knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal in his final appearance at welterweight.
After arriving at 185 pounds with a decision victory over former interim title challenger Kelvin Gastelum, Till was tipped by many to be a future tough test for middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. But after a main event defeat to #1-ranked contender Robert Whittaker, that push for gold was stalled.
If the setback to “The Reaper” stopped his surge, his next Octagon outing sent him firmly into reverse. Against Derek Brunson in the UFC Vegas 36 headliner last September, “The Gorilla” was dominated throughout and submitted via rear-naked choke in the third round.
Till Wants To “Get Comfortable Again”
At the age of 29, and with wins against Gastelum, Stephen Thompson, and Donald Cerrone, Till’s potential is clear. Despite his recent struggles, the Brit hasn’t lost his self-belief and still sees UFC gold in his future. To get that ball rolling again, however, he has to rebound in 2022.
During a recent appearance on Michael Bisping’s Believe You Me podcast, Till spoke about his return, and admitted he’s looking to avoid another headlining spot when he makes his comeback.
“I’ve had like, eight or nine main events now, and we’ve got Tom (Aspinall) from Team Kaobon doing Team Kaobon’s 10th (at UFC London), it’s historical, it’s nice stuff,” said Till. “But I would love to just have a three-round fight, just open the main card, and just see what it’s like. Every fight I’ve had since Cowboy has just been main event. I understand the UFC, what they see in me is potential and style, but I would love to just get back in there and fight three rounds and get comfortable again, be Darren Till.
“I swear to God, years ago, you can speak to my coach, I thought I was fucking indestructible,” added Till. “I used to say I can’t be killed, I can’t be beaten. I know I’ve still got that deep down inside me. I just need to find it again and be comfortable again.”
The last time Till fought three rounds was in the UFC 244 co-main event in 2019, where he edged past Gastelum on the scorecards. He’ll certainly be looking to re-create that success when he returns to action.
While talk of a clash with Uriah Hall existed, the veteran’s booking with Andre Muniz means “The Gorilla” will need to look elsewhere for his next rival, or perhaps wait for the victor of that contest. Although according to “Prime Time,” Till isn’t all that keen on the idea of sharing the cage with him.
With Till’s fiery response to Hall’s recent ducking claims on Twitter, the stage has been set nicely for these two middleweight contenders to settle their differences in the Octagon down the line.
Who would you like to see Darren Till’s return to the Octagon come against?