Darren Till has had a rough go of things these past few years. You have to go all the way back to 2018 to remember the good times when he beat Stephen Thompson via decision in front of a hometown crowd in Liverpool, England. It’s a victory that’s aged well and set Till up for a title shot against Tyron Woodley.
But Woodley would big brother Till in that fight, taking “The Gorilla” down and choking him out in the second round of their fight. A bad KO loss to Jorge Masvidal in London followed, and then a decision to Robert Whittaker. Till then spent the majority of 2021 injured, appearing just once to get choked out by Derek Brunson. Another injury derailed a return fight against Jack Hermansson in July 2022.
So it’s just been a big mess of injuries, with Till going 1-4 over the last four years. With so much riding on a solid performance against Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 282, Till has made the ultimate sacrifice: he left home to train abroad just one day after his latest child was born.
“I had a newborn child about 13 weeks ago and I’ve only seen her once because I flew out to Thailand the day after she was born after for training camp,” Till told Mirror Sports. “So I’ve cut no corners, I’ve absolutely given my all. When you’re one of the best and you do that, it’s all you can do.”
“It’s going to show, my gas tank and conditioning are unbelievable,” he said. “I’ve trained hard and done everything I can, what more can you ask for? That’s what the elites are meant to do, when you don’t cut any corners, good things happen.”
Till has only lost to top tier opposition, and feels like the extra work will carry him over the top and put him back on the path to being a UFC champion.
“The mentality doesn’t change, when money isn’t motivating you and it’s the belt,” Till said. “You want your to children to look at one and say that’s what my daddy achieved so they go in school with their heads held high. I’m out here sacrificing time with my kids, there’s a big purpose for it. I’d love to be home now with my kids watching Christmas films, but I’ve got purpose now.”
“I’ve really missed my family, if you would have asked me a few years ago what I would have done after this fight I would have said to go and party, but now I just want to get back to my family and spend Christmas with them. I’ve really missed them because I haven’t been home.”
Till will have a solid two weeks following his fight to enjoy the Christmas holidays with his family, and hopefully he’ll get to enjoy it alongside his first win in over two years. The bookies don’t consider it a sure thing at all … they have Till a slight +155 dog to -180 favorite Dricus Du Plessis.
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