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‘One of the biggest names in MMA,’ Darren Till, announces jump to UFC middleweight division

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

After coming up short in his bid to dethrone Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion Tyron Woodley at UFC 228 last month, Darren Till is done competing at 170 pounds.

For now.

According to “The Gorilla,” he will be moving up to the middleweight division for his next fight inside the Octagon and will stay there for the foreseeable future.

“I’m a big dude for welterweight to be honest, so that’s probably going to be my last fight at that weight,” Till told Paddy Power (via MMANYTT). “Welterweight isn’t fully gone for me, but I’m going to be happy going up to middleweight now and I’ll be strong at that weight not having to cut as much weight. I’m at the pinnacle of my fighting career now, I’m one of the biggest names in MMA right now. I’m fighting the best and I am one of the best.”

Many expected Till to give “The Chosen One” a tough time, but when it came time to rumble, Woodley showed his experience, flooring Till in round two before choking the life out of him to earn the victory (see it again here). It’s a fight “Gorilla” hopes to run back after he takes care of business at 185 pounds.

“I’ll have a few fights at middleweight and you never know, down the line if Woodley is still about then I can have another go at him, that’s a rematch I want,” Till explained. “The future’s bright, I’ve got another 10 years in this sport. It’s not that I can’t make the weight. I’m just a big lad so I just have to be on such a strict, regimented diet and being honest, I don’t like doing it.”

For Till, it’s not about not being disciplined enough to make the 170-pound mark after failing to make weight a few times, it has more to do with the need to eat bigger, healthier meals during training to be the best version of himself.

“People might say ‘he’s not disciplined enough’, but because I have to cut so much weight I can only eat the bare minimum of food and that’s not how I want to be training. I want to be eating nice, healthy, big meals and training hard, smashing my training. The move up will help me keep my head more relaxed over the weight cut and I’ll be training more with a smile on my face, so I’m looking forward to going to middleweight.”

Tiramisu, anyone?

As for Darren’s first challenge at 185 pounds, there will undoubtedly be plenty of willing contenders ready to welcome him up. Care to offer up some suggestions?