Darren Till Welcomes March Return Against Sean Strickland: ‘The UFC Offered Him’

Former UFC welterweight title challenger and the #8 ranked middleweight contender, Darren ‘The Gorilla’ Till has laid out a brief timeframe for his return to the Octagon following a September loss to Derek Brunson — and has noted his interest in a pairing against the surging, #7 rated contender, Sean Strickland.

Liverpool native, Till most recently headlined UFC Vegas 36 in September against longtime division contender, Brunson, suffering an eventual third round rear-naked choke defeat in a largely one-sided showdown. Following the main event bout, Till’s head coach, Team Kaobon leader, Colin Heron confirmed his student has suffered an ACL tear in the weeks leading up to his showdown with Brunson.

The injury setback came as the latest in an injury-filled, turbulent 18-month period for Till, who suffered a unanimous decision defeat to former middleweight kingpin, Robert Whittaker in Abu Dhabi, UAE in July of last year. During his loss to Whittaker, Till suffered a knee injury which forced him from a slated pairing with Jack Hermansson, before a broken collarbone prevented his UFC on ABC 2 return against one-time title challenger, Marvin Vettori.

Speaking with compatriot, former undisputed middleweight champion, Michael Bisping on his podcast, Believe You Me — Till revealed the promotion are still offering him high-profile fights despite his recent middleweight skid.

The UFC, they said to me, ‘Darren [Till], we’re with you, we know what your potential is, we really love you, you’re always there for us, you’ll fight anyone anytime. You’re a man of the company,’ and I said of course,” Till said. “But they’re like, ‘Who do you want to fight?’ and I said Jared Cannonier is a good one, ‘Oh really? Jared already?’ Of course.

Till explained how the promotion had then suggested a pairing with the #7 ranked surging contender, Strickland, who recently saw his slated UFC 268 bout against former middleweight champion, Luke Rockhold scratched.

There were a few options they [the UFC] threw out to me,” Till said. “One fight I really liked was Sean Strickland. They offered him as well, and I actually said to Sean — because I’ve seen him a few times at the UFC — I said, ‘Sean, if you want to get it on at some point, let’s do it because I think you’re a good fighter, I think it would be a good fight.’ So listen, I’m still fighting the top and that’s how it is.” (H/T MMA Fighting)

Prior to his pair of defeats to both Brunson and Whittaker, Till, a former welterweight championship challenger, made a successful middleweight division bow at UFC 244 in November 2019 in a co-main event split decision victory against the #10 ranked contender, Kelvin Gastelum.


Ross Markey

An MMA fan since 2011 and covering the sport since 2016, Ross Markey has built himself into a top journalist in combat sports.

First catching on to MMA and the UFC in particular back when Brock Lesnar fought Shane Carwin, and even more so when he fought Alistair Overeem back in 2011, Ross really became enchanted with the sport from late-2013-2014 onwards.

He initially began covering MMA in tandem with football back in June 2016 just as he was finishing school. The first real event he covered on his own personal blog was UFC 200 in July of that year during international fight week. His content consisted of previews and event and results recaps. In between jobs, Ross produced content on the side before transitioning to a full-time position back in early 2019.

He initially started creating content on his own blog back in June of 2016, before becoming a staff writer, lead writer, and editor for websites such as MMA Motion, Combat Insiders, Fight Bananas, FightPost, Severe MMA, MMA Power Hour, FightBook MMA, LowKick MMA, and of course, Current MMA.

Back in 2019, Ross received the award Top Journalist of 2019 for FightBook MMA, before he was then promoted to the website's lead writer. Following a six-month period at MMA Power Hour, he was also employed as a junior editor for the company. Throughout his time in the industry, he has interviewed the likes of Colby Covington, Rhys McKee, Pedro Carvalho, Felicia Spencer, Eryk Anders, Jussier Formiga, Danni Neilan, Frans Mlambo, Alex Lohore, Blaine O'Driscoll, Modestas Bukauskas, Ross Houston, Jon Fitch, and Richie Smullen.

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