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.
- Report – Amanda Ribas vs. Michelle Waterson Targeted For UFC Event On March 26.
- Clay Guida Offers Nate Diaz Rematch Following UFC Vegas 44 Win: ‘I’ll Give Him Another Chance’
- Aljamain Sterling Praises ‘Phenomenal’ Jose Aldo, Believes He Has ‘The Tools’ To Defeat Him
- Nate Diaz ‘Disrespected’ By UFC’s Offer Of Khamzat Chimaev: ‘Don’t Even Talk My Name’
- Sean O’Malley Claims He’s The ‘Unranked Champ’ At Bantamweight Ahead Of UFC 269