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UFC 248: Darren Till claims money, not injury, the sticking point in Jared Cannonier fight

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Copenhagen-Nelson vs Burns Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Cannonier was expecting to fight former middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker, at the upcoming UFC 248 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which takes place this March in Las Vegas, Nevada, but “The Reaper” recently withdrew to tend to his ailing daughter.

Then came word that ex-welterweight contender Darren Till, who jumped into the 185-pound mix by turning away Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 243, was willing to step in for Whittaker. Once again, Cannonier was left high and dry when UFC President, Dana White, told reporters “The Gorilla” was sidelined with an ankle injury.

“When I heard Rob was injured I was already working hard in the gym so we upped a bit knowing I could get the call for March 7,” Till told The Score. “I’ve had a few little niggles, as always, but I’m still willing and able. My management haven’t got the right deal yet, but I’m hopeful we can still make it happen. Mark my words, I’m scared of no one.”

Things are a bit messy in the 185-pound weight class, which is why Yoel Romero was gifted a title shot despite back-to-back losses. Paulo Costa is benched with a bicep injury, Whittaker is gone until further notice, and both Gastelum and Jack Hermansson are coming off losses.

That doesn’t give the promotion a ton of options when it comes to matchmaking and Till may be the only fighter who can keep Cannonier on the card. That said, UFC 248 is a championship doubleheader, so the promotion may not be in a big hurry to pay Till anything extra to keep his name in the line up.

Time will tell.