Darren Till has been dogged by injuries, lost confidence after the devastating Jorge Masvidal KO and been exposed by elite wrestling… but the fan favourite CAN still resurrect his UFC career after confirming he asked to be removed from roster
- Darren Till has been removed from the UFC’s active roster temporarily
- The fan favourite burst onto the scene and appeared to be the next big thing
- But he has suffered a considerable drop off, winning just one of his last six fights
‘I am what I am, aren’t I – one of the UFC’s superstars’, said Darren Till before his most recent defeat by Dricus du Plessis last December.
‘Even the superstars have stints of going up and down, but I’ve got a big name. I’ve built a big name over the years in the UFC and it’s good to finally be back on the biggest stage possible. There’s no higher level. It doesn’t get any higher or more elite,’ he added.
But Till has now confirmed he’s asked to be removed from the active UFC roster, at least for a while.
He tweeted: ‘What’s happening everyone, Me, Dana & Hunter are still cool as f**k. I asked UFC 2 remove me just 2 sort some other shit for the foreseeable. They happily agreed to release me out of contract which I appreciate. I’m not going anywhere, got big plans to execute & I’ll be back.’
Till, 30, is understood to have told Bruce Buffer after the Du Plessis defeat that he had badly injured his knee and there’s every chance he wants to step away from the sport to recover both mentally and physically from a brutal run.
Darren Till spoke in a video after his loss to Dricus du Plessis last year (above) and has now confirmed he has had permission for a release from the UFC under contract
Till has been on a run of one win in six and is looking to reset for the next stage of his career
Even though ‘The Gorilla’ has won just one of his last six fights in the organisation, it is surprising move for his paymasters to cut ties, even if just for a while.
His friend and training partner Brendan Loughnane half teased him joining over at the PFL, responding to a tweet suggesting as much with a shrugging emoji.
But Till’s pledge to come back may have nipped that speculation in the bud.
After the Du Plessis fight, Dana White said: ‘I mean that’s fight of the night. I don’t think his stock drops at all.
‘You know, if he went out there and got destroyed in the first round, like it looked like it was gonna happen, but it did the exact opposite, he weathered that storm, stayed out of submissions. Then he comes back and you think he’s gonna win the fight.
He added: ‘I thought it was an awesome fight, that’s why it was fight of the night and I don’t think his stock dropped at all.’
That being said, the man himself acknowledges something needs to change to rediscover the kind of form that saw him rise rapidly to the top and a talented and bludgeoning prospect.
In a video he shared on social media last December after the Du Plessis fight, he said: ‘I’m doing this video because I feel like I should do it now, the right time is now. I’m not retiring this is not a retirement speech.
‘I’m 29, that’d be stupid to retire but I’m on a bit of a losing skid at the moment.
The 29-year-old showed his resilience in a losing effort against the middleweight contender
Till was soundly beaten by Derek Brunson but may have been carrying a serious injury
Brunson gradually got on top in the contest and a rear-naked choke sealed his victory
‘It’s crazy because when I’m in the gym sparring with all of the best guys in the world I’m truly in my element but when I step in the Octagon I just can’t seem to put things together.
‘I have moments like in the second round [Against Du Plessi] where I’m untouchable but then certain things happen. I just want to say to everyone, whether you love me or hate me, I’m sorry. I tried to come in and put a show on, I never cut no corners and I do really train.
‘Maybe I train too much. I train like a man demented. The past thirteen weeks I’ve given my all and I’ve always given my all to this sport.
‘Now I don’t know what to do properly but I’m just going to have a little bit of time off from the UFC and just rethink stuff, I’m not retiring. I want to fight soon, next year, but I just want to spend Christmas with my family.’
Fighters bounce back from losing streaks all the time and there’s every chance fans will see Till firing on all cylinders again in the octagon on another title run.
But there’s no escaping the brutal streak he has been on.
Six successive wins since signing for the UFC earned him a title shot against Tyron Woodley back in 2018.
He was aiming to be the second British UFC champion after Michael Bisping but came up well short. Woodley dropped him and then choked him out in the second round.
Next up was supposed to be his bounce back on home turf but Jorge Masvidal spoiled the party in devastating fashion.
The American knocked Till out cold, stunning the O2 Arena into silence.
Jorge Masvidal upset the odds by knocking out Till at UFC London in 2019 in brutal fashion
Till came close to beating Robert Whittaker in a tight contest back in 2020
It was a massive blow and prompted Till to move up to middleweight, where he started well, beating Kelvin Gastelum by split decision.
His post-fight interview drew even more fans, admitting how nervous and fearful he was walking to the octagon and showing the kind of disarming honesty that endears him to crowds.
The talk was, if Till could back that win up by beating Robert Whittaker then a title shot at fellow striker Israel Adesanya would be next.
It was a brilliant fight and incredibly close. The Australian took home a unanimous decision win but Till came out with plenty of credit.
Unfortunately, the two fights after Whittaker have proven to be damaging. Till took on Derek Brunson, with what it later transpired was a serious knee injury.
Predictably, it didn’t end well, with the American wrestler imposing his will and winning by rear-naked choke in the third round.
Rising South African star Du Plessis was thrown in next and Till said he was fully prepared after a gruelling training camp.
He almost suffered a one-sided beating after Du Plessis dominated the first round, before Till came back in the second, showcasing the kind of striking skills that helped him make a name for himself.
Till admits that something is not clicking when he enters the octagon compared to training
But he began to fatigue and there was again the suspicion of another injury as Du Plessis took him down with ease before securing a submission in the third.
Till still has the goodwill of the fans and clearly his employers too.
Even Leon Edwards, once a rival, has wished him the best.
‘I feel like he’s a little bit lost as far as like what he’s doing and where he’s training’, the welterweight champion said recently.
‘One day he’s in Thailand, one day he’s with Khamzat (Chimaev). But, yeah, for me, I just want him to somehow find his path, wherever it is.
‘Either it’s back in Liverpool where he started or wherever he ends up and just get the confidence back in yourself that you had in 2019 where he thought he was the best in the world and just bring that back into his next fight. I wish him well.’
Till has shown he has the ability to mix it with the very best fighters in the world. If he manages to sync up his mind, body and preparation, he could yet take the UFC by storm again in the future.
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