South Africa’s ‘Stillknocks’ Dricus Du Plessis will be facing off against Darren Till at UFC 282 in a top-ranked UFC middleweight showdown.

Previously, the English-born Till was a welterweight fighter but struggled to make weight with regularity. In 2019, the English fighter moved up to middleweight permanently. Since then, he has defeated Kelvin Gastelum but lost to Robert Whittaker and Derek Brunson.

Till’s upcoming opponent Dricus Du Plessis said that while he is a skilled fighter, he never made the move properly to middleweight. In an exclusive interview with Mike Owens of LowKickMMA, Du Plessis explained:

“I think Darren Till is as good as we thought, I honestly do believe that. I think Darren Till took the weight change- he can fight at middleweight, I see him being able to. But I believe he took the whole move up to middleweight as almost a little breather.”

Stillknocks‘ explained that when Till moved up to middleweight it afforded him some slack in training. The South African fighter continued:

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“I don’t have to cut the weight anymore and now I can eat a little bit like I can eat more junk, party a little bit longer let my foot off the gas a little when it comes to the diet and conditioning and the burning of calories. I can miss a session because I’m not really feeling like it because I don’t have to worry about that big weight cut.’ And that’s a big problem I think a lot of people make once they step up a weight division.

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See the full interview below:

Dricus Du Plessis says Darren Till lost focus

Darren Till put together a UFC record of 5-2 at welterweight but 1-2 at middleweight. Dricus Du Plessis believes it’s not a skill issue with Till at middleweight but instead an issue of focus. Speaking to Low Kick MMA, he continued:

“He needed to spend that time to become a real middleweight and not being a welterweight fighting at middleweight. Because that’s what I believe we saw when Daren Till moved up to middleweight. He didn’t look like a bigger Darren Till. He just looked like the same Darren Till that didn’t look as trained on the scale. So I think that’s where he lost a little bit of focus because the weight wasn’t motivating him.”

Dricus Du Plessis and Darren Till will battle in the UFC middleweight division at UFC 282 on December 11.

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Timothy Wheaton is a combat sports writer who covers MMA, Kickboxing, and Muay Thai. He has been an avid follower of these sports since 2005. Tim has even covered the UFC, GLORY Kickboxing, and Bellator in person at live events. With Low Kick MMA, Tim has contributed interviews, articles, and podcasts. Tim also works with a host of other media sites such as Calf Kick Sports, Sportskeeda MMA, MMA Sucka, Vecht Sport Info, Fighters First, and Beyond Kickboxing. Tim is is the authority on kickboxing and MMA journalist who has covered K-1, PRIDE FC, UFC, GLORY Kickboxing, Bellator, ONE Championship, and plenty more.