England’s Darren Till is coping with the heat as best he can on Fight Island.
Till (18-2-1) returns this Saturday, in the main event of UFC Fight Island 3. Opposite him, a former champion in Robert Whittaker. Having gone all the way to a title shot in the UFC’s welterweight division, Till now has a chance to set up a fight with Israel Adesanya.
In fact, if he gets past Whittaker, that’s the only name Till is interested in, he told media outlets including Cageside Press on Tuesday.
“If I win, I’m fighting Israel Adesanya, and that’s all there is to it,” Till told us during a virtual press scrum ahead of his main event scrap.
Sorry, Jack Hermansson. The Swede, for one, has been campaigning for a fight with the Whittaker/Till winner following his big win over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC Fight Island 2. In fact, he was campaigning for a fight with the winner of Whittaker and Till even before his own fight went down.
However, that doesn’t interest Darren Till. Rather, Till is planning to stay ready for September, just in case something happens with the Adesanya vs. Paulo Costa match-up.
“I’m putting every ounce of energy, and spirit, and soul, everything I’ve got into this fight. Because this fight means everything to me,” he later added. All with the end goal of fighting Adesanya in mind.
It’s something that just makes sense, Till later reiterated. “Just look at my resume. Look at my resume from welterweight, and now look at my resume at middleweight. Look at the two guys I’m fighting in my debuts at middleweight. Of course I deserve a title shot,” Till insisted. “I’ve never campaigned for it, even when I beat Stephen Thompson in my home town, I didn’t campaign for the title shot, but I feel like the stars have aligned.”
“Now I beat Gastelum, easily might I add, and he gave Adesanya the most trouble. Now Saturday I see myself beating Whittaker,” he continued. Which means he would have beaten two of the best guys at middleweight. “Where do you want me to go? Do you want me to go backwards? All these guys calling my name, we’re probably going to meet someday. I’m not avoiding you, and you’s not avoiding me. But I’m looking forward.”
“We’ll see what happens Saturday,” Till said, adding “I beat Whittaker, I don’t want to hear any other name come out of anybody’s mouth apart from Israel Adesanya.”
Outside of fighting, Till has been awfully busy on social media of late, letting a different side of himself out: a funny side. Something that has involved a lot of photoshopping.
Asked if it got him the attention he wanted, Till replied “I suppose so, but that wasn’t the intention. The intention was just sort of broadcast what I think is funny, and what I think is having a laugh. If people go along with that, which a lot of the people did, that was good for me. It seemed to really hit off during the lockdown and stuff, for the months everyone was locked up.”
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh he dropped him pic.twitter.com/i1fOcz4ciz
— Darren Bisping (@darrentill2) June 24, 2020
Knowing that the world had bigger problems, “I just wanted to make my social media, as I always say, real and fun,” he stated. “So I think everyone enjoyed it, and it got in a lot of people’s mouths.”
Darren Till meets Robert Whittaker in the main event of UFC Fight Island 3 (UFC on ESPN 14) this Saturday, July 25. The card airs live on ESPN (TSN in Canada).