Darren Till hasn’t had the easiest couple of years. Once labeled as the next big thing in the Welterweight division, his lack of experience and grappling have really brought him out in the Welterweight and now the Middleweight division, as a fish out of water.
Till has had his moments in the UFC – most notably rousing the Echo Arena in Liverpool to his entrance to “Sweet Caroline”. But, they have come few and far apart – and recently, the highlights have all been in the opposition’s favor. After beating Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson in the packed Echo Arena, Till was fast-tracked to face then-champion Tyron Woodley for the belt. He was submitted by the American in the second round, exposing his glaring weaknesses.
What was considered by many to be just a temporary setback, Darren Till now stands at 1-3 in his last few fights. Mediocrity and being just another ‘’roster fighter’’ is staring him in the face. When he faced Derek Brunson last September, he managed to rock him once before being brutalized on the ground, eventually being submitted. Hence, to say Till’s star power has declined is no overstatement.
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“Noticeably intoxicated” – Arrest puts Darren Till’s COMEBACK IN JEOPARDY
After losing to Brunson last year, Till markedly looked like a lost and defeated man. He just had nothing to show on the ground. In a move that delighted not only his fans but also the MMA community in general, Till temporarily moved to Sweden to train with Khamzat Chimaev back in March.
In a string of viral videos, both were seen to be enjoying each other’s company and going at it hard in the gym. This came at an important time for Till, who felt like a new man, under the AllStar Gym’s tutelage and new-found friendships.
However, going to Sweden did not alter his fortunes immediately – he had a bout with Jack Hermansson canceled in July. Always the optimist, Till said in an interview later “I want to have two fights by the end of this year,” adding that “Two fights, and then next year’s a big year. The comeback is on.”
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The Briton has a steep path to victory ahead. To prove one’s title aspirations, a fighter must go all in and forgo distractions. Darren Till, despite training with one of the most hardcore guys in the UFC currently, still looks distracted. On his day, he is unstoppable. But when that day will be actualized is up in the air. The recent outing of the report of his arrest in Sweden does him absolutely no favors.
According to the report, Till was “noticeably intoxicated”, and even retracted his previous statement of having had “one to two beers while at a restaurant” when the breathalyzer reported thrice the permitted levels of alcohol in his blood.
This is a bad look for Till, who just cannot afford any more mishaps. Maybe, this is his wake-up call. Maybe, we should put faith in Michael Bisping’s words, who said this week that “He (Till) will be a champion!” Whatever might be the case, Till must show the UFC an upward trend fast, or he might face the axe in the near future.
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