Former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker was surprised to see Darren Till‘s recent release.
‘The Gorilla’ has been out of action since his clash with Dricus du Plessis last December. On that night at UFC 282, Till came up short by submission. However, he did take home ‘Fight of the Night’ honors following the defeat.
That fight might go down as the British fighter’s last in the UFC. The defeat was Till’s fifth in his last six fights, having already been defeated by names such as Jorge Masvidal and Derek Brunson in that stretch. That rough patch was enough for the UFC to part ways with the former title challenger earlier this week. For his part, Till stated that he requested the release.
The release caught a lot of fans by surprise, and Robert Whittaker is among them. ‘The Reaper’ previously faced Darren Till in July 2020, with the former champion winning by decision. Nearly three years on from that bout, only one man remains in the promotion.
When discussing Till’s release on Fox Sports, Whittaker offered the theory that the release had nothing to do with recent losses. Instead, the former champion opined that something else must be at play.
“It’s surprising, to be honest,” Whittaker stated to Fox Sports. “I would have to believe that it’s not purely because of his last few losses, I think there’s something more to it as in he’s going through something mentally or injuries or something like that. I think there’s discussions between them and they came to the agreement that they were going to release him.” (h/t MMAJunkie)
He continued, “I can’t see them just cutting him due to performance. Granted, he’s lost five of his last six, but he looks good when he looks good. He’s still a big name, especially in that U.K. market. He’s a big name. People love the way he holds himself. He’s a funny dude, quite charismatic. Yeah, I can’t seem them doing that because of [his losses].”