Former UFC welterweight title challenger Darren Till revealed he’d had some big offers since his UFC release but insists he will be staying loyal to Dana White and Hunter Campbell.
Till appeared on Michael Bisping and Anthony Smith’s podcast, Believe You Me, and addressed the situation regarding his UFC departure. The Liverpudlian mapped out his plan for the future, why he asked to be released from his contract, and interest garnered outside of the UFC.
Darren Till addresses UFC departure
“I spoke with [UFC executive] Hunter [Campbell] and the guys at the UFC — this is after my last fight — because Hunter’s been on me for a long time, like, the last two years ever since I fought [Robert] Whittaker,” Till said. “He’s always on me hard, like, ‘Darren Till, listen. We do believe in you, you’re going to go all the way, but we’re sick of you being injured. We’re just not putting up with it.’ This was for two years going on and I was always promising, ‘Yeah, yeah, I’m OK now,’ but obviously I just haven’t been OK for two years. I just haven’t really serviced my body.
“After the last fight, I spoke to him, ‘Hunter, listen, I really need to get my body right but I feel like I need to do it outside of the UFC. I feel like I need two years off to just go and focus on something else for the time being, sort of take the attention away.’ He was like, ‘Think about it, but we’re not in the habit of bringing people back to the UFC once they’ve left.’ In my mind I was like, ‘That’s all good about you saying that now, but I’ll get back when the time is ready.’
“We spoke back and forth and then the other day it came up that they cut me, but obviously, they’d sent me release papers because I asked them if I could be released. And that was it, then the news just ran and my phone’s been non-stop never since. It’s a new little chapter until I go back there.”
Overcoming the mental stumble
Till has suffered a massive mental stumble as of late, which has shown in his recent performances inside the octagon. Till has won just one fight from six since his welterweight title fight loss with Tyron Woodley at UFC 228. Currently, the 30-year-old is riding a three-fight skid, being finished in his last two.
Despite receiving lucrative offers from other organizations, Till doesn’t intend to make an appearance elsewhere out of respect for White and Campbell.
“I think it would be disrespectful,” Darren Till said. “I’ve got a good relationship with Hunter and Dana, I think it would be disrespectful for me to say I’m going to go and fix my body and then take fights outside the UFC even though the past two days I’ve had some f****** crazy offers to fight on other shows. Everyone’s texting me and all the managers and stuff like that. ‘Someone wants to give you this or that.’ I’m like, OK. In my mind it would be quite disrespectful to Hunter and Dana to do that, whether I do it or not, it’s a different thing, you’ve got to think of yourself and money and that. I’m probably not going to do that.
“This is the thing. I’m striking-capable. I can strike all day, there’s nothing wrong there, it’s just as soon as I start inputting the MMA my knees just buckle and there’s just nothing left there no more at the moment with them. I think it’s time to get them right and really service them in the best way and I think I’m going to do that, so that’s the plan.”
Quotes via MMA Fighting
Till talks two-year plan
Till assures the viewers that mentally, he’s still in a good place and just needs the necessary time to heal up his body from years of wear and tear.
That being said, Till didn’t rule out competing in pure striking combat sports to keep sharp and active.
“I’ve got a two-year plan in my mind,” Till said. “I feel like it’s going to be a f****** unbelievable plan and I’m going to execute it to the most I can. That’s it, I don’t want to say too much about it, but I’m going to make a truckload of money. I’m going to probably do a striking match or two because that’s my forte and hopefully by then I’ll have figured out this f****** rupture with my knees and stuff and I’ll be good to go.
“Listen, how many guys go to the UFC and say, ‘Release me.’ How many guys actually do that? Some of the guys when they’re on the way out, like Nate [Diaz] wanted to be released and stuff like that, but there’s not many guys who do that and I’ve had a lot of time to think about my decision. That’s why I was happy when Hunter actually said to me, ‘Till, think about it because it’s a big decision. Think about what you’re doing.’ And I said, ‘OK Hunter, I respect that. Give me two weeks to just think.’ I’ve thought of the plan, the route, the path, and I’ve got a full plan in place.”
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