On September 8, in the main event of UFC 228 in Dallas, UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley will attempt to defend his title against undefeated contender Darren Till. At least, that’s the plan…
As we’ve seen time and time again, no matchup is safe until the both fighters are locked in the cage. Factors like injuries, illness and weight-cut issues can derail planned fights mere hours before they happen.
Knowing full well that no matchup is bulletproof, the UFC has called on Kamaru Usman to serve as an understudy in the event that either Woodley or Till isn’t able to fight in the UFC 228 main event. Woodley, however, has said that he’s not interested in fighting Usman on short notice.
While Darren Till assures that he would be willing to fight Usman on short notice, he understands why Woodley isn’t.
“We all have different mentalities on this. If I was in Tyron’s shoes and Tyron missed weight, I’d fight Usman. When you say you’re the best, and you believe you’re the best, you can fight anyone. I’d fight him,” Till said (transcript via MMA Fighting).
“I understand where Tyron is coming from. He’s training for a 6-foot-2 guy — a big middleweight — strong power, good defense, puts pressure on…his whole game gets changed for a guy who is similar to himself in size, wrestling background and power. I can understand where he’s coming from, but he’s being, shall we say, a safe champion. He has reasons behind it.”
The good news is that, with Darren Till’s weight cut on track, and Woodley more motivated than ever, all signs point to this fight going ahead as planned.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/29/2018.