Not all that long ago, the future appeared to be bright indeed for
Darren
Till
.

The Liverpool, England, native was unbeaten in his first six UFC
appearances, a run that included signature triumphs against
Donald
Cerrone
and Stephen
Thompson
. That led to a welterweight title shot against
Tyron
Woodley
, and though Till lost via second-round submission in
that September 2018 bout, it seemed as though he would remain on an
upward trajectory.

That hasn’t been the case. The Woodley loss was just the start of
an extended slump that has seen Till lose five of six in the
Octagon, including a third-round submission defeat at the hands of
Dricus Du
Plessis
at UFC 282 this past Saturday. Till showed mettle in
rallying back from a lopsided opening stanza, but ultimately, he
was unable to completely turn the corner in a clash that ultimately
received “Fight of the Night” honors.

The latest setback caused Till to do some serious reflecting, and
while some time off will do him some good, “The Gorilla” says he
isn’t ready to call it a career just yet.

“You don’t always get what you want in this life,” Till said in a
video on Instagram. “It’s tough. I’m f—-g 29 now. I’ve been at
the top of the sport since 2017, entered in the UFC in 2015. I’m
not retired, this is not a retirement speech. I’m 29, that would be
stupid to decide. I’m on a bit of a losing skid at the moment, I
really am. I ain’t finding my right way at the moment, and it’s
crazy because when I’m in the gym sparring with the best guys in
the world, I really am in [my] element, and then I step in the
octagon and I just can seem to put things together. Then I have
moments — like the second round — when I’m untouchable, and then
certain things happen.

“I just want to say — whether you love me or hate me — I’m sorry. I
tried to put a show on, I never cut no corners. I do really train,
[and] maybe I train too much. I train like a f—ing man demented.
The past 18 weeks I’ve given me all, and I’ve always given me all
to this sport.

“Now, I don’t know what to do properly, but I think I’m going to
have a little time off from the UFC, I don’t know, and just rethink
stuff. I’m not retired, I want to fight, I want to fight next year,
but now I just want to spend Christmas with my family, have a good
time with my friends, and everybody who supports me, my team back
home.

“I hope you enjoyed the fight and all, it was a bit of a war. Well
done to Dricus. I felt like I had him there, I was making him
switch. He was very scared to stand and strike, that’s why he was
shooting for them takedowns.”

Du Plessis, Till’s opponent, suggested that the Englishman return
to 170 pounds to revive his career. Till is now 1-3 since moving to
middleweight, a move that came following a knockout loss to
Jorge
Masvidal
in March 2019.

“I think Darren proved he’s an incredible fighter, but I do believe
if he wants to make any run at being successful, he needs to fight
at welterweight,” Du Plessis said after UFC 282. “Honestly felt
that tonight. I’m not hating on Darren Till
at all, I have all the respect in the world, but he is not strong
enough or big enough to fight at middleweight.”





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Darren Till ‘Not Retired’ But Plans to Take Some ‘Time Off from the UFC’