Former UFC welterweight title challenger, Darren Till still has plans to challenge for middleweight gold before too long, despite his run of two consecutive losses – envisioning a 2023 title tilt against Israel Adesanya, potentially at The O2 Arena in London, England.
Out of action since September of last year where he headlined UFC Vegas 36, Till dropped his second consecutive loss at the middleweight limit – in the form of a rather one-sided third round rear-naked choke loss to division staple, Derek Brunson.
The loss followed a July 2020 defeat to former undisputed middleweight champion, Robert Whittaker – where Till aggravated a longstanding knee injury in the process.
Off the back of the loss to Whittaker, Till has faced a slew of niggling injuries, with a fractured collarbone forcing him from a UFC on ABC 2 title-eliminator against Marvin Vettori last April – after a knee injury stopped him from a return against Jack Hermansson prior to that.
Till’s head coach, Team Kaobon mainstay, Colin Heron also confirmed that his student had suffered a torn ACL just weeks before his September headliner opposite Brunson.
In the time since his loss, Till has been linked to a bout with Uriah Hall this weekend at UFC London which failed to materialize, and has recently begun training alongside undefeated welterweight contender, Khamzat Chimaev at AllStars MMA in Sweden.
Appearing at a UFC London live Q&A session this Friday evening ahead of tomorrow’s capital event, Till confirmed that by the beginning of 2023, he plans to challenge for middleweight gold, as well as land two victories before the close of this year.
“I think the start of 2023,” Darren Till said when asked when he envisions a future title challenge. “Beat two guys this year, and then obviously, get the title shot. I know (Israel) Adesanya said he wants to fight me here at The O2, would everyone come and watch that if I can get it?”
In his sole middleweight division victory, Liverpool fan favorite, Till co-headlined UFC 244 in November 2019, managing to score a close split decision victory over former interim title chaser, Kelvin Gastelum.
Scoring his fourth successful defense of the middleweight crown back in February, Adesanya is targeting a July return to the Octagon – welcoming a title defense against the #2 ranked contender, Jared Cannonier next.