UFC middleweight veteran Darren Till spent the last couple of months preparing for Jack Hermansson, a 185-pound showdown that was expected to take place as part of the UFC London event this weekend on ESPN+. Unfortunately, a late injury sent “The Gorilla” to the sidelines for an undetermined amount of time.
But that doesn’t mean his preparations will go to waste.
Till recently agreed to corner his late replacement, up-and-coming middleweight bruiser Chris Curtis. The 35 year-old “Action Man” originally planned to have No. 7-ranked Sean Strickland cheering him on this Sat. night (July 23) across the pond, but “Tarzan” lost his passport and was forced to stay behind.
“I’ve known Darren for a little bit,” Curtis explained on The MMA Hour. “When he was out in Vegas, we trained a little bit. He’s a really cool dude. I like Darren. We get along great, and the English fans are definitely upset he’s not fighting there, and I know Darren’s upset he’s not fighting at home. People give him shit, but the dude trains really hard, like maybe too hard. I’ve done the same thing before, and injuries happen.”
Till, who turns 30 at the end of the year, is just 1-2 since moving up to the middleweight division roughly three years back and is coming off consecutive losses to Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson, the latter of which ended by way of submission. “The Gorilla” stands at 18-4-1 overall but needs a victory to get his career back on track.
“I know he was crushed about it, and the fans were crushed, so I’m like, you know what, screw it,” Curtis continued. “I don’t have Sean in my corner. I get along great with Darren. He brings that same kind of energy, so why not? The fans will get to see Darren in front of his home town, and I get my corner out of it, so everybody wins. Darren has much the same energy as Sean. I’m sure he’ll scream something in Scouser that I won’t understand, but I’ll get that it means, ‘Work harder.’ Like, ‘Stop being a bitch.’”
Curtis scored a technical knockout win over Sean Lally on Dana White’s “Contender Series” but got beat out by Greg Hardy and Alonzo Menifield when it came time for the promotion to hand out contracts. Undeterred, the 29-8 “Action Man” kept himself busy on the regional circuit until matchmakers called last fall. Since then, the former welterweight is 3-0 in UFC with two knockouts.
UPDATE: Till had a change of heart and will no longer be cornering Curtis.
“I won’t be cornering Chris this weekend at UFC London, I feel it would be disrespectful to the whole situation after pulling out of the fight to then turn up to the corner of the fight,” Till wrote on Twitter. “I wish Chris the best of luck he’s a proper guy and we trained together and he can do good things, I also wish Jack the best of luck, may both men have a good fight. I also look forward to hearing what all the couch potatoes have to comment below this post I’ll be reading and laughing.”
For much more on UFC London click here.