Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Till: If Brunson Fight Was In The Gym, I’d Have Broken His Skull

UFC middleweight Darren Till believes he wasn’t himself at UFC Vegas 36, and under different circumstances, he says he’d have laid a beating on Derek Brunson.

Last September, Till was being pointed at as a potential challenger for reigning 185-pound champion Israel Adesanya down the line. A victory over Brunson in the UFC Vegas 36 headliner was expected to move him to within touching distance of a date with “The Last Stylebender.”

But spoiling the Englishman’s plans and continuing the unbeaten streak of his blonde iteration, Brunson dominated throughout before securing a third-round submission. While he moved on to face Jared Cannonier in a title eliminator last month, Till has remained on the sidelines since his losing effort inside the UFC Apex.

But despite appearing to be outclassed on the night, Till believes a clash with Brunson would go very differently under altered circumstances.

Till: Brunson Felt “So Slow”

Following the result, Till revealed he entered his fight with Brunson with a torn ACL. While that provided some context behind his lackluster performance, “The Gorilla” has gone into more detail about his mindset and motivation heading into the September event.

During a recent interview with ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto, Till claimed he could barely recognize himself on fight night. Despite insisting the better man had his hand raised, the Liverpudlian believes in a different environment, he’d have left Brunson in a significantly worse state than the veteran left the Octagon in at UFC Vegas 36.

“It was tough to take, it was real tough to take. I’m not disrespecting Derek in any way, shape, or form. Blonde Derek Brunson was doing the job,” said Till. “But when I was in there with him, I didn’t feel myself and I felt sloppy, but he just felt so slow, even his takedowns and his striking.

“For me, if this was in the gym, I’d have [MUTED] broke his skull. I know he’s gonna see this and say, ‘No…’ But under different circumstances—I just couldn’t identify myself in there,” continued Till. “But at the same time, maybe, in my opinion, that night Derek was just the better fighter. I always say this, I never try and give excuses… I don’t wanna disrespect Derek. I still wanna give him his props. He beat me fair and square. The better man, the better fighter that night (won). But it was tough for me to take.”

While Brunson fell short of securing a title shot and is now potentially looking towards retirement after one last Octagon outing, Till is working hard ahead of his comeback. To return to 100% and begin realizing his potential, “The Gorilla” has turned to the help of a fighter on the opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to form.

For the past few weeks, Till has been training alongside Khamzat Chimaev at the Allstar Training center in Stockholm, Sweden. Having found his positivity and motivation again, the 29-year-old is targeting an ascent up the middleweight ladder, starting with a successful rebound later this year.

Who would you like to see Darren Till face when he returns to the Octagon?

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