While Darren Till has fought for the UFC’s welterweight title once before his upcoming main event clash with Marvin Vettori at UFC on ABC 2 this April will be one of the most important fights of his career.
Till, who is coming off a decision loss to Robert Whittaker in July 2020, is hoping a win over Vettori on broadcast television helps him lock down a shot at current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Despite his recent loss to “Bobby Knuckles,” Till believes he’s right in the thick of things when it comes to the ongoing 185-pound title picture, especially since Adesanya has already alluded to the potential matchup between the two fighters.
Till is by no means overlooking Vettori, who is coming off a masterful performance against Jack Hermansson in December 2020, but “Gorilla” is excited to one day test his striking against the champion’s world-class abilities.
“I think me and Marvin are knocking on the door,” Till told ESPN. “It’s like a little mini-middleweight competition right now, the same as lightweight, so it definitely excites me. To just be at the top and to be getting these chances and knowing what’s next and all that – but I’ve got a steamroller in front of me, and I don’t want to look too far ahead. I know Izzy’s calling me out, practically, and stuff like that. I’ve called him out for a long time. We were destined to fight even when I was a welterweight. He called me out then, when I was at the top of welterweight.
“Right now, I’m just focused on myself. I’m doing my own thing. But this is the thing: I think it’s one of these fights with me and Izzy, I think it’s magician vs. magician. Who’s got, like, the Kryptonite to beat the other guy’s striking, you know? I’ve said it for the longest time, I’m one of the best strikers in the UFC. And I think Izzy is definitely there. He could be ahead the way’s he’s been fighting – he’s ahead of me right now.”
Till, 28, is one of the more technical strikers in the sport today. His timing, precision, and distance control are at the very top, both at welterweight where he used to competed and his current home at 185 pounds. That said, Adesanya has been on a level of his own when it comes to striking. “Last Stylebender” did just lose to current UFC light heavyweight champion Jan Blachowicz at UFC 259 (highlights HERE), but that doesn’t take away from Adesanya’s dominance over the middleweight division.
“I just feel like I’ve got the specifics to beat him, and I’m sure he’s up for the challenge and he thinks he’s got the specifics to beat me, so I think it’s going to be a good fight when it happens,” Till said. “It’s good to be getting called out by the champion. Usually, it’s the challengers calling out the champion. The champion’s calling me out. I must be doing something right.”
A matchup between Adesanya and Till has long been talked about at 185 pounds, but there’s no dismissing Vettori and what he can do inside of the cage. The Italian contender has won four fights in a row and has only lost to Adesanya via split decision since the start of 2017. Vettori is not a fighter to overlook and is also someone who is jockeying for his own spot in line to challenge the champ.
What say you, Maniacs? Will Till get past Vettori to lock down his awaited matchup with Adesanya?
Let us know in the comments below!