Surging UFC welterweight Darren Till was one of the hottest rising contenders in the deeply talented 170-pound division throughout 2017.
The Liverpool, England-based fighter truly blasted onto the scene by knocking out longtime veteran Donald Cerrone in the main event of October’s UFC Gdansk, a fight after which he deservedly began entertaining some potential big-name bouts.
A match-up with former title challenger Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson made the rounds, but the No. 1-ranked Karate wiz eventually said it wasn’t in his best interest to fight a lower-ranked, up-and-coming opponent. On the other hand, it would obviously give Till another sizable shot right up the ranks, something he told MMA Junkie wasn’t necessarily his goal.
For him, he knows he has a long way to go, so it was more of a challenge against one of the UFC’s best strikers in ‘Wonderboy’:
“I don’t feel like I’ve earned a title shot and, to be totally honest, I don’t even feel like I’ve earned a top-three spot. The only reason why I asked for ‘Wonderboy’ is because I think it would decipher who the best striker is (in welterweight division). But I don’t really care if it’s No. 1 or No. 10.
“He’s an excellent fighter, one of the best, and I don’t want to fight him for an easy route to the title, but because I want to test myself against the best. If he’s the guy to beat me and take all my momentum, then fair play to him. But I don’t believe he could do it.”
Even if Thompson is unwilling to face Till, the Liverpudlian striker already had another high-profile match-up in his back pocket, this time a pay-per-view (PPV) bout against fellow rising challenger Rafael dos Anjos in Brazil.
In his eyes, dos Anjos would be easy money despite his spotless track record as of late. Till believes a match-up with dos Anjos would be over in one single round, and that even UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor, who fights a weight class below the massive welterweight Till, would have destroyed dos Anjos.
With that established, Till said he was similar to the notorious Irish megastar, only ‘much better’:
“A pay-per-view against dos Anjos in Brazil would be huge, and I am totally up for it,” Till said.
“The great thing is, I would go there and beat him in a round because he’s designed for me and is just too scrappy on the feet. I think Conor McGregor would have absolutely annihilated him, and I’m twice Conor’s size. I’m also a similar fighter to Conor – just much better. I would kill dos Anjos, and I just don’t know what he’s doing in this division.”
Much of that confidence may lie in Till’s full knowledge that he’s simply much bigger and stronger than his competition. Walking at a reported out-of-fight weight of 210 pounds, Till fully acknowledged he was too big to keep fighting at 170 pounds forever.
Because of his overwhelming stature, Till said he plans on not only eventually moving up to 185 pounds but also to 205 in an effort to become an unprecedented three-weight champion:
“In all honesty, I am too big for the division,” he said. “You could see with Cerrone, and I know he’s a former lightweight, but I am huge at this weight. I’m going to spend some time taking over at welterweight, but then I will move up.
“People think I’m joking, but I’m also planning on going up to light heavyweight because I still have years to go and I’m going to continue to grow. I want to be a three-weight world champion.”