Darren Till trying to avoid MMA out of respect for UFC

Darren Till at UFC 282. | Louis Grasse / ZUMA Wire, IMAGO

One-time UFC welterweight title challenger Darren Till left the UFC after 3-straight losses this past March. His departure from the organization came as a surprise because his last bout (a third-round submission to Dricus Du Plessis) won Fight of the Night honors and UFC boss Dana White had said Till’s stock with the promotion “had not dropped at all.”

Darren Till said he asked for his release from the UFC

Till had openly struggled with his morale following a string of injuries that had forced him to pull out of at least one booked fight.

“What’s happening everyone,” tweeted Till. “Me, Dana [and] [UFC Chief Business Officer] Hunter are still cool as f—k. I asked UFC [to] remove me just [to] sort some other s—t out 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 [and] I’ll be back.”

Darren Till avoiding MMA to stay in good graces with UFC

But apparently, Till may be done with MMA (for now) but he’s not done with combat sports. Like everyone else who follows the money, he’s looking to box

In a recent interview with Ariel Helwani on the MMA Hour, Till talked about his relationship with the UFC and why his plans don’t include organizations like the PFL.

“I sort of made a little promise, but not promise,” Till replied, speaking of his relationship with the UFC, and whether he was free to fight in MMA (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I said ‘I don’t want to go off straight away and do MMA. My heads a little battered and I just sort of want to be released and see what me options are.’ That was eight months ago. I’ve had some crazy offers since I left, by big MMA organizations, and I turned them all down. I’ve been in talks with some of them, but again, I wouldn’t go down that disrespectful route of starting straightaway with the PFL.”

“I feel like I’ve done it the right way. … What’s the point of saying to Hunter, ‘I need some time off to relieve the pressure,’ and then go sign with the PFL or Bellator or ONE or something like that? It just makes no sense.”

Darren Till planning to fight Mike Perry on Misfits card

So if MMA is out of the running, what’s Till going to do in the meantime?

In that same interview, Till did reveal what he has in mind for his next move. Notably, the Liverpudlian wants to get his feet wet in the ring sometime in November or December. After that, he’s got his sights firmly set on a longtime frenemy.

“I’m trying to compete now, in November, December,” Till explained of his future plans. “Get a fight, whatever. Just get me toes wet. And then I will be looking for the Perry fight next year. I want to make a big thing of it. That’s it. Let’s see who can grab that up. More than likely, Misfits will want to make that fight, but that fight can be made anywhere, anyhow. It will sell no matter what. I think it will be massive here in the U.K.”

Mike Perry on fighting Till

Mike Perry sounds like he wants the fight too.

In his own recent MMA Hour interview, Perry sounded like he was champing at the bit (transcript via Sportskeeda):

“We just want to fight because I want to punch him for things he said in the past, but he has grown up a lot as well as I have…Yes [I hate him] because of his raw dog comment…Yeah, he said something about raw dogging my bird, my new bird, or whatever, and I wanna scratch his eyes out…I don’t let grudges die.”

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About the author

Zane Simon

Zane Simon is a senior editor, writer, and podcaster for Bloody Elbow. He has worked with the website since 2013, taking on a wide variety of roles. A lifelong combat sports fan, Zane has trained off & on in both boxing and Muay Thai. He currently hosts the long-running MMA Vivisection podcast, which he took over from Nate Wilcox & Dallas Winston in 2015, as well as the 6th Round podcast, started in 2014. Zane is also responsible for developing and maintaining the ‘List of current UFC fighters’ on Bloody Elbow, a resource he originally developed for Wikipedia in 2010.

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