For a period of time, it seemed as if welterweight contenders Mike Perry and Darren Till would become heated rivals in the division, but after their previous verbal clashes had finally settled down, eventually they formed a mutual respect towards one another.
They had grown so strong that leading up to UFC 227, when the two combatants appeared in Los Angeles for the UFC’s 25th Anniversary press conference, both men got some ample mic time.
During this time, Perry made a challenge to Till, inviting him to come an spar with him.
Till agreed to partake in the activity but had slightly misinterpreted Perry’s initial statement, thinking Perry was actually inviting to come to the spa.
Moments later, the private long awaited sparring session Perry wanted against Till finally transpired.
While a guest on BJPENN.COM Radio, most recently, Perry described how the rare session of he and Till went down.
“We were out there in LA and I decided, you know, I was talking shit to him on Twitter so long ago, and he called me out in the Octagon after he beat “Cowboy” [Cerrone],” Perry said, referencing his past beef with Till. “I lost against [Santiago] Ponzinibbio, otherwise we would’ve already fought.”
“I figured ‘hey, I’m sure you want to punch me in the face Darren Till… We both have an opportunity here. Let’s go try to punch each other in the face.’ And he was with it,” Perry continued. “He got in the Uber with me, it was just me and him. He didn’t bring nobody with him, it was just me and him. We went to the other hotel where the fighters were. We picked the mats up that they were putting all the UFC stuff away. And he had one end of the mats and I had the other, and we were like setting up the ring for us to beat each other up on. And then, he starts warming up and stretching and shit like, and I was like, ‘aaah shit, alright, I guess I better warm up too, he is getting it over here’”.
When asked how the sparring session in it’s entirety faired, Perry didn’t hesitate to praise his british sparring partner’s skill.
“I mean we all know he’s already good,” Perry said of the sparring session itself. “You know what I’m saying? But I mean, I could let you all know, he’s good. He caught me with some good shit too. Took me to the ground a couple of times, things like that, you know.”
Though Perry and Till have ended becoming pretty friendly amongst each other, it still doesn’t mean a future bout between them couldn’t happen.
But if it does, Perry realizes what a tough fight it will be, but is still supremely confident he’ll figure out a way to win, even if it is an opponent the size of Darren Till.
“Listen, when we all meet at 170,” he said of Till’s size advantage. “The height in our bones is the only difference-maker. And then that makes the styles for the fights and, you know, most tall guys are weaker in certain areas. Especially when a small guy like me gets underneath them and gets inside.
“He’s so big if he doesn’t keep me at range or keep me at distance — and that’s the thing about Till, most of his fights I’ve seen the opponent didn’t want to go in the way that I do. You know what I’m saying?
“People are afraid to go in on him and get cracked. Not me. I go forward no matter who I fight. I don’t know how to fight really any other way. Going forward is what I do.”
Do you believe we’ll eventually see Mike Perry and Darren Till face off in the octagon soon?