Former UFC middleweight champion, Michael Bisping has claimed that UFC Vegas 36 headliner, Darren Till suffered yet another injury setback ahead of his main event clash with Derek Brunson last weekend — this time tearing his ACL just 10 weeks out from the bout.
Till, who headlined Saturday’s card littered with U.K. talent — dropped a disappointing, third round rear-naked choke defeat to the surging veteran, Brunson, suffering his second consecutive loss while Brunson lodged his fifth straight win — and likely put himself into middleweight title contention for his next outing.
The loss comes as the second straight for Till, following a close unanimous decision defeat against former undisputed middleweight best and common-opposition, Robert Whittaker in a UFC Fight Island 4 headliner in July of last year in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
In the time since, Till has been forced to withdraw from a pair of slated headlining bouts against fellow contenders, Jack Hermansson and Marvin Vettori in December of last year and April past, respectively.
Against Hermansson, the Team Kaobon mainstay was forced from the pairing as he dealt with a flare-up of a knee injury suffered against the aforenoted, Whittaker, while a broken collarbone sustained in training just weeks prior to a potential title-eliminator against Vettori at UFC on ABC 2 in April — scuppered that headlining tilt.
Speaking with both Nick Peet and Adam Catterall on BT Sports after the bout, Bisping revealed that he had spoken with Till after the bout backstage at the UFC Apex facility, as well as claiming that the 28-year-old has suffered an ACL tear ahead of the bout.
“I went backstage to talk to Darren Till (after the fight), and he was frustrated. He tore his ACL 10-weeks ago,” Bisping said. “Certainly with that kind of injury, that would’ve hampered his performance (at UFC Vegas 36). But you can’t take anything away from Derek Brunson. He’s (Till) going to stay in Las Vegas for the time being and train a little bit and work on his takedown defence. I think spending some time in the United States and getting some work in grappling, he can get sharp again.“
Without a win since UFC 244 back in November 2019 in his middleweight divisional bow, Till last emerged victorious against former interim title challenger, Kelvin Gastelum with a close split decision victory, and has been encouraged to test another run at welterweight off the back of Saturday’s loss.
For North Carolina native, Brunson, he is targeting his own title challenge under the UFC’s banner in a rematch against either Israel Adesanya or Whittaker, but remains open to a title-eliminator clash with fellow contender, Jared Cannonier first.
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