Don’t expect a little thing like a headlining loss to No. 1-ranked middleweight Robert Whittaker to shake the confidence of ex-welterweight title contender Darren Till, because “The Gorilla” plans to “knock someone out” and get right back into the championship race.
But who will be wearing the 185-pound strap when that comes to pass remains to be seen. Reigning middleweight kingpin Israel Adesanya is booked to defend his title against undefeated challenger Paulo Costa at UFC 253 in September.
I guess we know who Till will be rooting for.
“This is no disrespect to [Adesanya], I think he’s probably an easier fight for me than Rob,” Till said after his UFC on ESPN 14 loss (via MMA Fighting). “Cause we’d probably have a great striking battle. Rob’s a bit different cause he mixes it up. Israel’s the champ. He’s a great MMA fighter, but he’s a pure striker. I think we’d have a great fight. Rob mixed it up a little bit. He’s wilder than me, Rob, like he’ll lunge with his head. Like he caught me with some cracker shots and I was eating them for breakfast.”
With Adesanya-Costa happening in September, it may be unreasonable to expect the winner to return before December. A more realistic timeline would probably be first-quarter 2021 which means both Till and Whittaker are likely to compete again during that timeframe.
As far as prospective opponents, both Jared Cannonier and Jack Hermansson are currently ranked in the Top 5 and coming off wins, so it will be interesting to see how the promotion matches them up over the next few months.