UFC middleweight contender Darren Till is cautious about getting into too many wars after seeing the impact they’ve had on other fighters such as Justin Gaethje and Max Holloway.
Darren Till is set to return to the Octagon this weekend as he prepares to take on Robert Whittaker in a huge fight for the 185-pound division. It’ll serve as the first bout for “The Gorilla” since last November when he managed to beat top middleweight Kelvin Gastelum in New York City.
While he has been knocked out or down in two of his last three fights by Jorge Masvidal and Tyron Woodley, you could argue that Till hasn’t actually been in all too many wars throughout the course of his MMA career.
During his recent Fight Island media obligations, the Liverpudlian explained why he wants to keep it that way.
“One big thing I’ve always known throughout my career, the wars take the toll on you, and whoever you are, you can see them taking the toll,” Till told MMA Fighting. “No disrespect, but when you look at guys like Justin Gaethje, and I look at Max Holloway now, and sometimes I seem glimpses of them slurring a little bit cause of the wars they’ve been in. All respect to the wars, but it ain’t a smart choice when you’re fighting.
“You want to sort of look in the direction of someone like Floyd Mayweather,” Till continued. “Someone like that. He’s 40-plus [years old], whatever he is now, and he’s got all his brain cells because he hardly got hit.
“So I think them wars, they take the toll on you, and they do take the toll on your chin,” Till added. “I think anyone I touch anyway at middleweight, I found myself I’m going to hurt with that left hand but we’ll see.”
While it’s admirable to see him having this kind of mentality, avoiding a war against someone like “Bobby Knuckles” is going to be easier said than done on Saturday night.
Still, nobody can say Till isn’t confident, especially when you hear him talking about a possible shot at the UFC Middleweight Championship if he can get past Whittaker.
“Yes, of course. If I beat Robert Whittaker Saturday night, the only way to go is to the title. I’ve come to middleweight and a lot of people say he’s only had two fights, but look at my two fights,” Till said on media day. “This is why for every young fighter out there, or for every fighter in the UFC who sometimes may turn down fights, you have to take these big risks because it will pay off. I didn’t campaign for a title shot after I beat Stephan Thompson in Liverpool. I didn’t quite feel I deserved it. But, now if I beat Robert Whittaker, Saturday, which is a big ask and a big mountain to climb, the only fight for me is I say, Adesanya and Costa are scheduled to fight, the only fight for me is a title fight.”
How do you think Darren Till will look this weekend?