What Would Be Next For Darren Till With A ‘Fight Island’ Win Over Robert Whittaker?
This Saturday, July 25, former UFC Middleweight Champion Robert Whittaker will look to get back into the title scene at 185. In his way is a former welterweight contender in Darren Till. The latter believes big things can come his way with a win against a guy of Whittaker’s caliber.
Speaking with MMA Fighting, Till (18-2-1) is hoping for more than just his hand raised at UFC on ESPN 14. His ideal next step would be to fight for the UFC Middleweight Title.
“Just look at my resume,” Till stated. “Just look at all of my resume from welterweight and now look at my resume at middleweight. Look at the two guys I’m fighting in my debuts at middleweight. Of course, I deserve a title shot.”
Till just recently returned to middleweight. Starting his career (2013) in the division, he went 10-0 before making his welterweight debut in 2014. He joined the UFC in 2015 and is 6-2-1 in nine fights. “The Gorilla”, with ten wins via knockout, would lose to then-UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley and Jorge Masvidal before beating middleweight contender Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 244 in November. He also has wins over Bojan Celickovic, Donald Cerrone, and Stephen Thompson.
If he were to win, Till sees that as beating two of the best fighters in the middleweight division. Gastelum (#7) and Whittaker (#1) are between the fifth-ranked Till, something he believes can help his cause.
“Where do you want me to go? Do you want me to go backwards? All these guys calling my name, we’re probably going to meet someday,” Till went on to say. “I’m not avoiding you and you’re not avoiding me but I’m looking forward. We’ll see what happens Saturday. I beat Whittaker, I don’t want to hear any other name come out of anyone’s mouth apart from Israel Adesanya.”
As of now, Adesanya is expected to defend his title against Paulo Costa on September 19. If he were to get the big win, however, and impress, Till could be the one who knocks on Adesanya’s door.
“If I win, I’m fighting Israel Adesanya and that’s all there is to it,” Till stated. “If him and Costa don’t fight, which I don’t know if I see it yet. I’ll step in. After this fight Saturday, if all goes well and I win, I’m going to jump straight back.
UFC on ESPN 14 takes place on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. It is the last “Fight Island” event before the UFC heads back to Las Vegas.