Liverpool has a long history of success in the ring with world champion pugilists lighting up fight nights from John Conteh back in the 70s, right through to recent champions such as Callum Smith and Tony Bellew. Even though the Merseyside fighters have triumphed at boxing, the city are yet to win a notable title in Mixed Martial Arts.
Darren Till has been a challenger in the UFC but the 28-years-old is yet to secure a victory on the biggest stage. The #7 fighter will be odds on to beat fellow Middleweight Derek Brunson in September, and it looks a solid bet to utilise bookmaker offers to back the British fighter to end up Middleweight Champion by the end of the year.
With a career record standing at 18 wins, three losses and one draw, Till is clearly a fighter with class. Nicknamed The Gorilla, Till began the sport as a plucky 12-year-old, and the belief in his ability was so strong that he dropped out of school at only 14. After spending over three years honing his raw skills in Brazil, the Muay Thai specialist dominated the South American MMA world and his success landed him a UFC contract where he was unbeaten until a 2018 loss to Tyron Woodley in which he was defeated by a D’Arce Choke.
The highly rated Team Kaobon fighter has lost three of his last four fights, but whilst this would be enough to retire lesser athletes, Till continues to tussle on UFC Fight Nights. It’s no surprise to see Till stutter over the past couple of years as he made the leap to Middleweight after finding it difficult to make the required limits of Welterweight.
Even though the Middleweight division hasn’t been kind to Till, he’s gained experience with each loss and those bouts will aid him in the long run as he tackles tougher opponents.
Darren Till is in the best shape of his career and has grown comfortable in the division, so we can expect to see elite performances from one of the best all-rounders in the class. The Brit’s upcoming fight against USA’s Derek Brunson would put Till firmly in the conversation for a title fight and could be the catalyst for getting his career back on track should the high school drop out teach his opponent a lesson in victory.
Brunson is on a four-fight win streak and he’ll be far from an easy opponent, but Till will know that as the superior points scorer, he’ll be the favourite if the bout goes the distance. At 37-years-old, Brunson is in the twilight of his career and nine years his junior, Till will be expecting to make the most of his added speed and versatility in the September face off.
The Liverpudlian is the odds-on favourite to win the prestigious bout and there’s little doubt he’ll want to secure his next fight before the end of the year.
The 28-year-old has always wanted to be the UFC title holder and the Scouse striker has his eyes firmly set on the middleweight title which is currently held by Israel Adesanya. It’s rumoured that a victory over Brunson could be enough to land a title shot against Adesanya, who has previously spoken of his desire to fight Till.
The Nigeria born fighter is widely regarded as the best in the business, but Till will be keen to test his mettle and land the elusive championship he’s always dreamed of. Till once said ‘I was put on this earth to be a champion in the UFC and be a future GOAT, so when it happens, it’s going to happen.’ It’s this confidence and determination which sets Till apart from his rivals and is inevitably going to land Liverpool its first UFC champion.
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