UFC middleweight contender Darren Till has some advice for bantamweight star Sean O’Malley, who recently suffered his first professional loss.
O’Malley got his first taste of defeat at UFC 252 earlier this month, when he was stopped by Marlon “Chito” Vera after injuring his leg early in the first round.
Till, like O’Malley, enjoyed an exciting unbeaten streak to start his UFC career, but ultimately stumbled against Tyron Woodley, Jorge Masvidal and Robert Whittaker. As such, he’s well-positioned to offer O’Malley advice on how to handle setbacks like his loss to Vera.
“You always have to give credit,” Darren Till said on Michael Bisping’s Believe You Me podcast, referencing O’Malley’s disparaging post-fight comments about Vera (via MMA Fighting). “I was saying something to someone before about Sean O’Malley with ‘Chito’ Vera. I really like Sean and I think he’s gonna be good, but you got beat, man. Take your loss, have respect, you will be a champion yet in the future, but don’t start calling the guy who just beat you a journeyman.
“I’m not throwing disrespect at him,” Till continued. “I think he’s a good fighter, but there’s two things that stuck out in my mind. One, is the way that he lost [with his ankle] and it just makes me think that I fought three complete rounds with a torn MCL. My knees are f*cked. I know what I had to fight with for those three rounds. I couldn’t use what I’m best at. I’m a master of movement and I couldn’t do it. I was there. There was no way I was going. Even when Rob took me down, I was in so much pain and I was like, ‘Get back up, get back up, get back up.’
“Number two, I just think the way he’s handling it after the fight, ‘Oh, he’s a journeyman, I’m gonna be a champion,’ mate, just take the loss. Give the respect and you’ll be a champion. Just forget all of that.”
Darren Till has been open about the effect that his first pro losses had on his confidence, but has since learned how to cope with defeat. He notes that many of the greatest fighters of all time have all experienced defeats at one point or another, and urges O’Malley to keep that in mind as he looks to bounce back from his first loss.
“The world’s best have all lost,” Till said, offering O’Malley his advice. “Muhammad Ali, I even believe Floyd Mayweather lost, too, even though he is one of a kind. We all lost. I am one of the world’s best and we all lose. Take your loss, go back, come back.”