Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight title contender Darren Till is hoping to replicate his success at 170 pounds and blast his way into a middleweight title shot, a journey that continues with Derek Brunson atop the UFC Vegas 36 mixed martial arts (MMA) event on Sept. 4 in Las Vegas.
“I just want to beat Derek Brunson in the first round, then we’ll see,” Till told The MMA Hour. “I know I’ve got the tools to beat Robert Whittaker, Israel Adesanya, Marvin Vettori, Paulo Costa, Derek Brunson, Uriah Hall, Sean Strickland, all these guys. I know it.”
Till, 28, doesn’t have anyone shaking in their boots since moving up in weight back in late 2019. After capturing a razor-thin split decision over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 244, the 18-3-1 “Gorilla” went down on points to former 185-pound champion Robert Whittaker in the UFC on ESPN 14 main event.
“I have visualizations of winning that belt,” Till continued. “I truly believe it, I don’t just say it. With all the antics, that’s hyping fights. Don’t get it twisted, I don’t take this lightly. I wake up every day and put my soul, mind and body through hell and back.”
A victory over the No. 5-ranked Brunson may not be enough to land Till the next crack at the middleweight crown, but it could be enough for “The Gorilla” to earn a title eliminator against the winner of this fight, or perhaps a shot at the loser of Adesanya vs. Whittaker, who are expected to rematch in early 2022.