There was a time, not all that long ago, when “Platinum” Mike Perry and Darren Till seemed to be on a collision course. Perry was riding high on the momentum of back-to-back knockouts of Jake Ellenberger and Alex Reyes, while Till had just authored a violent first-round knockout of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone.
“I’ve got my eye on Mike Perry,” Till called out moments after he clobbered Cerrone. “You and me were meant to fight!”
From there, however, Perry had his momentum derailed by a pair of decision losses to Santiago Ponzinibbio and Max Griffin, while Till endured a lengthy sit on the sidelines. In that timeframe, the pair’s heated rivalry seems to have transformed into something not all that far removed from friendship.
On Wednesday evening, Till updated his Instagram story with a screenshot of a private conversation with Perry. In this conversation, Perry gave Till some love and wished him well in his showdown with number-one ranked UFC welterweight Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, which headlines the UFC’s Saturday debut in Liverpool, England.
— Chisanga Malata (@Chisanga_Malata) May 23, 2018
“[You] looks strong man,” Perry said in his conversation with Till. “Healthy weight cut! Do your thing against Wonderboy. Show me how it’s done. I can’t hate, you’re a beast.”
Darren Till will enter his UFC Liverpool headlining showdown with Stephen Thompson with a fantastic 16-0-1 record. Since joining the UFC roster, he’s defeated Wendell de Oliveira, Jessin Ayari, Bojan Veličković, and Cerrone, and battled Nicolas Dalby to a draw.
Perry, meanwhile, will look to correct his current skid at UFC 226 on July 7, when he will battle Hawaiian fan-favorite Yancy Medeiros. Ahead of this bout, Perry has travelled to Jackson-Wink in Albuquerque to sharpen his weapons.
What do you think of this exchange of respect between Mike Perry and Darren Till, who so recently seemed ready to pummel each other into sawdust? Join the conversation in the comments section below.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/24/2018.