There was a time in the not-too-distant past when Darren Till was ranked No. 2 in the world at 170 pounds, but a series of brutal weight cuts and a pair of high-profile losses to Tyron Woodley and Jorge Masvidal sent “The Gorilla” up to middleweight.
Unfortunately for Till the competition didn’t get any easier, resulting in a 1-2 record with multiple injuries and fight cancelations. His last appearance ended in a submission loss to Derek Brunson in the UFC Vegas 36 headliner back in late 2021.
“It’s not like Darren Till hasn’t fought really high-level competition well,” analyst Daniel Cormier said on his “DC & RC” ESPN show (transcribed by Farah Hannoun). “Darren Till was at one point fighting for the welterweight championship of the world, went up to 185, fought Robert Whittaker in a very competitive fight, and we know how good Robert Whittaker is, but we need to see consistency. The one thing about Till is, he’s very popular. People still recognize him and honestly, before Leon Edwards became the champ, Till was still the most popular English fighter because he’s recognizable and he’s got a big personality. He’s a character, but the reality is, the character only gets you so far. You’ve got to win fights.”
Till (18-4-1) has managed to hold on to his spot in the middleweight Top 10 but his championship dreams could be over for the time being if “The Gorilla” loses to No. 13-ranked Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 282 this weekend in Las Vegas.
“Darren Till’s got that skillset, he’s training out of Sweden now with those guys like Khamzat and Andreas Michael and the whole team at Allstars MMA,” Cormier continued. “He has to implement what they teach and has to do it in a way that reminds everyone who Darren Till is and was between 170 and 185. He’s still young enough to make another run towards a championship opportunity. But it all starts Saturday, and if he can’t get past Du Plessis, it might be over for the time being for Till, but it would skyrocket Dricus up the rankings into very, very important fights.”
We’ll find out tomorrow night in “Sin City.”
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