Former UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos gathered with media members earlier this week in preparation for his clash with Colby Covington at UFC 225 on June 9 in Chicago, Illinois, for the interim welterweight championship.
While RDA discussed many components of his upcoming title fight with “Chaos,” another topic brought up was the divisional ascension of undefeated Englishman Darren Till. Dos Anjos doesn’t knock the success Till has had at 170 pounds since entering the promotion back in 2015, but he is skeptical as to whether or not the 25-year-old can continue to compete at the welterweight level due to his insane weight cut.
“I don’t see him fighting very long in this welterweight division,” said dos Anjos (shown above courtesy of MMA Fighting). “Every time you make weight, it gets harder and harder and harder. I’ve been there before. I feel like every time I made 155, it was getting harder and harder every time. That’s gonna happen to him and he’s gonna go to 185 eventually.”
Remember, Till recently missed weight by 3.5 pounds for his main event clash with Stephen Thompson at UFC Fight Night 130. While Till ended up winning a controversial decision, he had to relinquish 30 percent of his fight purse and weigh in for a second time the morning of the fight.
“He didn’t make weight, after all that,” dos Anjos said. “And we could not even watch the whole video, right? And he was 3-1/2 pounds over — off the extra pound. If he would fight for a title, it would be 4-1/2 pounds. He’s a great fighter, a young guy. But he’s going to go to 185 eventually.”
Similar to how Till has struggled to cut down to 170 pounds, dos Anjos used to have major issues making the 155-pound benchmark when he used to fight as a lightweight. The Brazilian sympathized with Till when detailing one of the worst cuts he ever had, which transpired prior to losing his UFC lightweight belt to Eddie Alvarez back in 2016.
“I passed out three times and I went out and went back,” dos Anjos said. “I did that probably three times. One of the times, I was out for three minutes. I almost, when I fell back on the bathtub, I almost hit the back of my head on the sink. I could have died. And that was a fight that I shouldn’t fight. But everything happens for a reason. I did it and I lost and I learned a lot from it.”
Despite his relative youth, Till has already become a top-five fighter in the division. If he’s able to fix some of his issues outside of the cage so his cut down to 170 pound is much easier in the future then he’s going to stick around at welterweight for a very long time.
Should Till stay put at welterweight, a matchup against RDA could be in the making down the line. Dos Anjos may claim the interim strap with a win over Covington at UFC 225, and should current champion Tyron Woodley be unable to return to competition then Till could be RDA’s first defense.