Darren Till Would Treat A Fight On Fight Island Like A Street Fight
Since the world has gone on lockdown as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, UFC fighters have been put in the difficult position of not knowing exactly when they’re going to fight next. Especially those that had fights booked in the last month and upcoming months. One such fighter is Darren Till, who is scheduled to meet former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, in the UFC Dublin main event on August 15th.
Coming off a huge decision victory in his middleweight debut over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 244, Till remains uncertain about the time and whereabouts of his next fight. Speaking on the latest ‘Fight Disciples’ podcast (as transcribed by MMA Junkie), ‘The Gorilla’ opened up on his thoughts of fighting during the current pandemic.
“I know there are mixed opinions on it. I don’t know whether it’s good or bad. I don’t know whether to have an opinion on it. If you’re not allowed to go socialise, is it good to put an event on? Is it good to try to do it for the fighters and for the viewers to be entertained? (Expletive), whatever. My little thing to say now mate is, ‘Opinions are like (expletive), everyone’s got one.’”
It’s difficult to know for certain whether any fights will take place over the next few months. However, in the last few hours, UFC president Dana White has announced that the UFC is planning to return on May 9th. Although he didn’t announce a location, he has recently stated that he has secured a Fight Island, to hold international fight cards.
“Do I think I’ll fight?” Till said. “I mean, yeah if they call it up and say, ‘Let’s do it. We’ve got the island open. We’ve agreed to it now. You’re going to be the fourth event against Whittaker.’ Yeah, I’ll fight. I can’t see any fights happening in the next three months. I don’t think we’ve even hit a proper lockdown yet. … Another few weeks and it’ll be one of them [orders] where you won’t be allowed to leave the house unless it’s essential.”
Although Till is open to fight anyone at this point, he remains dubious to the fact that there will be an opponent willing to face him during this time. The coronoavirus has affected a lot of people globally, and this is something he is very aware of.
“I don’t want to throw hate anyone’s way,” Till said. “You know what I mean? Everyone has got their reasons. Maybe when Leon [Edwards] said, ‘No,’ to getting on the plane to go to fight [Tyron] Woodley, maybe he was more right in saying no. … In everyone’s eyes, even in my eyes, he had that right. But I wouldn’t have said, ‘No.’ I would’ve said, ‘Yeah.’ Then, is that selfish on my part, or what?”
Despite the fact that possible upcoming events will not take place in front of large crowds, Till is no stranger to fighting in small gatherings. Knowing that he may not be his fittest on the night, the 27 year old says he will treat it like a street fight.
“My ‘foe’ [Jorge] Masvidal put on Twitter. He said, ‘Fighting in front of no crowds, that’s [nothing new to me].’ He’s done it in backyards. Obviously, I’ve never been filmed fighting in backyards. I’ve done enough fighting on the street, mate. If they rung me and said, ‘Listen, you’re going to get paid as normal for a fight against Whittaker. You have a month to get ready.’ I’d stay sound, yeah. I’d run everyday to keep my weight down and go fight.
“It is what it is. I’d go in there with the mentality I’m not the fittest I’m going to be, whatever. I’m just going in there to slug it out. I think that’s the mentality that’d I’d have. So I’d do it, yeah. But will everyone else?”
Would you like to see Darren Till slug it out with Robert Whittaker on Dana’s Fight Island?