Darren Till may be entrenching himself as a major player in the UFC’s middleweight division, but that doesn’t mean “Gorilla” isn’t looking back at his old welterweight stomping grounds.
Till, 27, made his UFC debut at welterweight back in 2015. From there, the talented Englishman would go on to capture a 5-0 (1 NC) record with wins over the likes of Stephen Thompson and Donald Cerrone. Till’s success eventually landed him in a title fight at UFC 228 with then champion Tyron Woodley, but “Gorilla” would wind up losing via second-round submission. Following that loss, Till suffered a knockout defeat at the resurgent hands of Jorge Masvidal and decided to take his talents back up to 185 pounds.
Since his move to middleweight Till has proven that he can hang with the best in the world. After taking out perennial contender Kelvin Gastelum via decision in his UFC middleweight debut Till was locked in to fight former champion Robert Whittaker at UFC Fight Island 3 last month. Despite losing via unanimous decision Till went toe-to-toe with one of the best middleweight fighters of the past five years and did so over the course of five rounds.
All of that said, Till still feels like he has unfinished business at welterweight. The confident English fighter plans on regrouping and doing what he needs to do in order to get his shot at the 185-pound strap, but Till is eager to take another run at 170 pounds as well.
“No [I’m not done at 170], because I didn’t even cut weight to make 185 mate,” Till recently told ESPN. “I didn’t cut no weight, no. But, as I said I am a walking f—king contradiction. Fight week for 170 I’m walking in at like 280 pounds [laughs]. Fight week for 185, I’m walking in lighter than what I used to fight at, at welterweight. That doesn’t make any sense. Colin is watching this looking at me like you are a f—king wanker Darren. It doesn’t make any sense, fight week in Abu Dhabi I was just walking around like 87, 88 kilo. The fight day with Whittaker I was going to my coach, I haven’t put on any weight.
“Usually, guys re-hydrate and I did re-hydrate with the UFC PI but I put like 2-3 kilos on, it was mental. I wasn’t bothered, I was healthy, I didn’t cut no weight,” he continued. “It was like Darren when you used to fight at welterweight you would be coming in at 90 kilos on fight week cutting 13 kilos. Now, you are coming in lighter for middleweight what is wrong with you man? That is just me.”
Considering Till is just 27 years of age and already one of the promotion’s favorite fighters to promote he should have plenty of opportunities to fight his way to the top of the middleweight division. Once that ride comes to an end then maybe fight fans will get to see “Gorilla” back where it all started.
Until then, let’s see how far Till can go with healthier weight cuts and more power in his hands.