To say that Darren Till has had a lackluster couple of years would be putting it lightly. Ever since his rise to fame as the next big UK talent after Michael Bisping, he has had bright moments, but overall disappointed more often than not.
Till headlined a packed O2 Arena in London, in 2019, taking on resurgent Welterweight Jorge Masvidal. The UK fans expected their native fighter to beat the ATT Gym staple, but, the exact opposite happened. Despite dropping Masvidal in the first round, Till got violently knocked out, falling on the canvas helplessly as the O2 Arena fell silent.
Since it’s only been a somewhat downward spiral for the once-heavily touted prospect. One need only look to his Fight Night: Liverpool entrance in 2018 (fighting against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson) getting the rapturous Liverpool audience to sing their hearts out to ‘Sweet Caroline.’ Darren Till was given a title shot right off the back of that performance, in which he was submitted by Tyron Woodley. Nothing to be ashamed of, as Woodley was the champion then.
The last 3 years have spelled trouble for the still relatively young Briton. He has lost bouts to Jorge Masvidal, Robert Whittaker, and Derek Brunson, leaving him 1-3 in that time span.
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Darren Till believes “Comeback is on” after being 1-3 in the last 3 years
Darren Till’s loss to Derek Brunson was where he looked the most out of depth. Brunson is 38 years old, and Till could do nothing about this grappling threat. An extremely striking-centered fighter, Till has found himself mostly without an answer against grapplers with a serious takedown and/or submission threat.
In early 2022, news broke of Darren Till flying out to Sweden to train with juggernaut Khamzat Chimaev at the Allstar MMA Gym. This move came at the right time for him, who needs a serious wrestling base if he is to establish some sort of momentum in his next fights in the Middleweight division, against guys who are considerably bigger than those he was able to neutralize with his hands in the Welterweight division. Ever since the duo has taken over social media, their unlikely pairing being termed the “Smesh Bros”, kindling a sort of bromance in viral Instagram and YouTube videos.
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At the moment, Till seems to be helping Chimaev get ready for his bout against Nate Diaz on the 10th of September, saying that “I’m in camp helping Khamzat, but I’m getting ready for my fight as well.”
Till was supposed to fight Jack Hermansson at UFC London this past month, of which he pulled out because of an injury. That has not dampened his spirits, with him adding that “I want to have two fights before the end of this year, then next year is a blockbuster year.” Going to Sweden has not only replenished Till’s reserves but also allowed the opportunity to showcase the talent that we know he possesses.
Lastly, Till gave an update about his health, saying, “The body’s never 100%, but I’m training and resting well, and adding the right nutrients.” and that “I’m ready to get some wins…get a world championship.”
Whether or not Till can recapture some of the glory, and go on a successful title run remains to be seen. Firstly, what is exciting is who he will fight next, and how we will be able to make the right adjustments to cover the glaring gaps in his skillset.
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