In an exclusive interview with Neue Online Casinos, Darren ‚The Gorilla‘ Till reveals his fight predictions ahead of UFC 287 this weekend.
The former UFC fighter also talks how UFC fighter pay needs to improve as well as bring more sponsors in.
If you’d like to use any of the quotes in this interview, you must credit & link to https://neueonlinecasinos.io
- Pereira will beat Adesanya
- Burns will beat Masvidal, but must win for Masvidal
- My boy Khamzat deserves title shot against Leon
- Khamzet will become champ champ
- Raul Rosas jr shouldnt be calling out Aljo
- UFC fighter pay needs to improve + more sponsorships for fighter
- There’s only 2 people that could beat the GOAT Jon Jones at heavyweight
Question: Let’s start off with the biggest news that’s been going round with you Darren, tell us what exactly happened with you leaving the UFC?
Darren Till: „It’s no secret that for the past two years I’ve really been struggling with a few niggling injuries. There’s types of treatments that I’ve been wanting to get, but within the USADA anti-doping testing, some things won’t get past that. I’m not saying I’m going to get on steroids and start juicing or anything like that of course, but I want to look after my knee. There’s injections I wanted to speak to people about getting in Panama and Colombia but they’d leave me out of the cage for a few months as a result and wouldn’t necessarily pass the testing requirements either. But also I just felt that having a few years away from the UFC, after leaving on good terms and then coming back, wouldn’t be such a bad idea either.
„So I spoke to Dana and his colleagues and said ‚listen guys we’ve got a great relationship, so is there any chance you can release me so I can go off and do my own thing for two years and then come back if my body’s right, because I know I can be a champion again?‘. At first we were in negotiations for a while but then we came to an agreement. As I said, I’ve left on great terms with them so that door is always open. Since I’ve left I haven’t even said anything about my plans but I’m already getting called out. People have said I’m fighting Logan Paul, I’m fighting this guy and that guy, I’m boxing, I’m here, I’m there and I just thought ‚wow‘. Every organisation was offering me stupid money to sign for them and that convinced me that I was doing the right thing.“
Q: Have you set a timeframe, or goal for when you’ll be back in action?
DT: „Actually you’re going to be the first to know about this but I’m going to be making a big announcement in a few weeks which is really going to set me up for the rest of my life. Good things are going to come from it. I can’t say too much right now but I can tell you first and foremost, here and now, that it’s going to be a big announcement and everyone’s going to be really excited by it. It’s going to be life changing and I can’t wait to share more about it really soon.“
Q: Do you still see yourself wrapping that middleweight gold around your waist one day?
DT: „One hundred percent. My aspirations haven’t changed in that sense. Money comes and money goes but I’ve still got that mindset that I’m only 30. Most of the UFC champions are 34 or 35 so I know I can do it. I just need to be directed in the right way and make sure my body is fit and healthy and my mind is too. So regardless of how much money I make outside the UFC, ultimately my goal is to be back having those big fights in the UFC within two to three years.“
Q: Would you ever consider joining Bellator or the PFL now your options are open?
DT: „I mean I probably would yes but the thing for me is going to be boxing. I’m probably going to end up boxing. It would be a bit disrespectful of me to join another MMA organisation after leaving the UFC on such good terms. But at the same time, PFL or Bellator came along with an offer I can’t refuse then I have to take it. PFL have already been knocking on the door with a really big offer. Maybe I’d be silly to turn it down but I’ve said come back with something more so we’ll see but there’s definitely offers on the table from everywhere.“
Q: Pereira v Adesanya 4: What game plan does Israel have to have to get over his bogey fighter Pereira?
DT: „I don’t know what to say except that he needs to just use the same game plan and hope it works this fourth time. Because every time I’ve watched these two get it on, Israel Adesanya has been winning the fight and then from nowhere Pereira has come back out of nowhere and beat him. So yeah he is his bogeyman. Adesanya’s strategies have been perfect but Pereira seems to just have his number. I don’t want to say it but Pereira’s probably going to win the fourth fight too and that will be a devastating blow for Israel I think.“
Q: Your old foe Masvidal has lost 3 on the bounce, is this a must win fight for him against Burns?
DT: „Yes it is. Both of them are part of my company so we’ve been speaking to Masvidal quite a bit and it seems he’s been training really hard for this fight. I’m glad to see that because part of me was wondering, ‚is he just doing this for the money?‘. I do feel like he needs this win but at the same time with respect it’s going to be a really tough fight against Burns. He showed against Khamzat that he’s got a great ground game, he’s durable and he trains hard so he’ll be able to do the three rounds no problem. If I had to pick a winner I reckon Gilbert Burns takes that fight.“
Q: If Masvidal beats Burns on April 9th, should he get a straight shot at the title against Leon?
DT: “No I don’t think so. As you said he’s lost three on the bounce. Just because he had a little scuffle with Leon, that doesn’t warrant a title fight. He needs a few wins under his belt but he’s still a big name so if he gets one or two wins he’s right back in the mix. I know Leon said Colby’s not the guy for the shot but I would love to see Colby vs Leon and then maybe Khamzat fight the winner of that. So it’s exciting times in the welterweight division but I want to see my boy Khamzat get the title.”
Q: Masvidal yesterday said he’s a bigger draw than Leon in a London card, after knocking you out last time he was there, he’s talking rubbish right?
DT: “He’s been in the press for the wrong reasons recently like the Colby fight in Miami with the police and stuff like that. But is there any such thing as bad press in the UFC. He’s a big name but I just don’t think what he’s done recently warrants a fight with Leon. If he beats Burns and then someone else then maybe he deserves a title shot but not with the way things stand right now.”
Q: Raul Rosas jr. 7-0 at 18, up against Rodriguez, how do you think that fight goes. And is Rosa jr. the next star of the bantamweight division?
DT: “I don’t really look too much into this kid because he’s literally just that; a kid. The UFC are going to build him up and that’s all well and good but that kid should only be thinking about being in the gym and getting better. He’s already a good grappler but his striking needs a lot of work on it. I don’t think he should be thinking about titles or calling anyone out. He needs to just focus on improving and learning his craft. He’ll get to the top but all this hype so soon can be a good thing and a bad thing. From what I’ve seen, I get why Dana’s excited about him but when I saw him calling out the champ I was like ‘that’s not the thing to do’. He’s got a lot of holes in his game yet, he needs to get better and listen to his coaches.”
Q: Holly Holm made a speech about protecting children from sexualisation, after her win on Saturday. Where do you stand on fighters making political speeches after fights? Is it going a bit too much like the Oscars‘ grandstanding speeches?
DT: “Listen, say what you want, I don’t really give a f**k. If someone wants to get political or say something they believe in then that’s all good with me, especially if it’s about children. It’s a tough one to go down the political road when you’re a fighter. But yeah if that’s what floats her boat then who are we to judge? There’s a lot more pressing issues going on in the world. You’ve got fat, naked men twerking on TV! What’s that all about?!”
Q: What did you think of that super controversial split decision of Vera v Sanghagen? One judge even gave Chito 3 rounds.
DT: “Yeah what’s the judge’s name? I know the judge because he’s a piece of s**t. He judged Marvin Vettori wrong as well. The way I’ve seen him judging in the last six months he has been part of every controversial decision there’s been. He shouldn’t be judging. He doesn’t know aht type of fight he’s looking at. Even Dana said the same thing. I watched it and when he read out this result I thought ‘this guy needs to go’. He just simply doesn’t know what he’s doing. It would be like putting me into an office desk job, I wouldn’t know what I’m doing!”
Q: What has Leon retaining the belt on English soil done for UK MMA?
DT: “It’s done amazing things I think. Leon’s a very humble, down to earth good guy. He never talks trash, we never see him in the media for bad reasons. That’s the type of guy you want holding the belt. Lots of kids will be looking up to him and that’s great.”
Q: Leon Edwards bought his mum a Jamaican food shop after his first win with Usman. What’s the biggest /craziest thing you’ve bought with your UFC prize money?
DT: “I’m proud to say fighting in the UFC enabled me to buy a million pound house. I say the number because, coming from one of the poorest parts of Liverpool, it’s important to me. It’s not a favela but it is poor and you don’t ever think that you’ll be able to achieve those things. I was able to buy that house for my children and their mother and I’m incredibly proud of that.
Q: Leon says he doesn’t want to fight Colby, he thinks Colby hasn’t done enough to deserve a title shot. Should Kamzat get a shot next? Or Bilal maybe?
DT: “Bilal or Khamzat have probably earned it more than Colby. He is a draw, he talks a lot of crap and stuff like that so I know what Leon’s saying about not wanting to give him a shot. But it probably will be Colby. That’s how I see it playing out.”
Q: What do you predict Kamzat’s future in the UFC to be, is he destined to win that welterweight belt? Could he even go up to middleweight and become champ champ?
DT: “I think he grabs the welterweight title and then potentially moves up. There’s a lot of tough fights at middleweight and he could get the title at that weight too, it’s a definite possibility. I’m looking forward to seeing who’s going to win out of Leon and Colby and Khamzat face the winner.”
Q: What would you want to see changed in the UFC, if & when you get back there?
DT: “I think fighter pay could be improved. Fighters deserved to get paid more in my view, although the UFC do pump a lot back into the company. I also think we should be able to have more sponsors within the octagon. You have to fight for change to happen but it will happen eventually I’m confident of that. It just might take a while.”
Q: Friday night’s Fury FC 76 main event between Edgar Chairez and Gianni Vazquez saw some shocking refereeing when the ref failed to notice that Vazquez was choked unconscious and allowed Chairez to then put an armbar on his opponent. Is the standard of MMA refereeing getting worse?
DT: “Yes I do. I really do. I think there’s only a few legitimate referees left in the sport of MMA and that goes for the judges too. There are careers being potentially ruined. The best refs… you’ve obviously got Marc Goddard. He’s one of the best out there. I’ve seen some of these refereeing clips, not the one you mentioned there but how can you be in charge of a fighter’s safety… I know how it works. Once you’re unconscious the next thing after that is death. Your windpipe’s collapsed. I know when a guy is choked out from the other side of the room. How they can’t see that from three feet away I’ve got no idea. It actually infuriates a lot of fighters. He should never ref again for as long as he lives.”
Q: Confirmed that Ireland’s Ian Garry will face a big step up in competition, going up against Daniel Rodriguez on May 13th. What advice have you got for Ian?
DT: “I like what Ian’s doing. The first few fights of his career I was sort of on the fence in terms of how good he is or isn’t, but his last fight I think he showed a lot. He was in trouble, he was knocked down but he came back and staunched the guy. I’ve been very impressed by his evolution and his work rate. He seems like a good guy, he’s just had a family. This is a big step up against Rodriguez but with his style and his length I can actually see him winning the fight. He hasn’t got a lot of knockout power but I can see him winning a three rounder yeah. It’s been a pleasure to watch him so far.”
Q: Has Jon Jones cemented himself in the UFC as the GOAT, after his technical finish of Gane?
DT: “The GOAT. He didn’t need to. I love Jon Jones because of what Jon Jones is both inside and outside the octagon. The guy’s a raving lunatic who drinks and does all the wrong things but he’s the best fighter. I know it’s not the guy to be looking up to as a kid but when you look at it for what it is the guy is phenomenal. He’s the GOAT, he’s the best ever. None of these other guy’s can claim to be the best. Your Khabibs, your GSPs, they’re all great but they’re not Jon Jones.”
Q: It’s looking likely Jones will face Stipe Miotic next, who do you see winning that fight?
DT: “I just don’t see anyone that can beat Jones. I’ll say it again. He’s the GOAT. The only two who might have a chance are Curtis Blaydes and Tom Aspinall.”
Q: On instagram you recently hinted that you’re planning to take it back to the Muay Thai days which produced a lot of excitement in the comments. What’s the deal!
DT: “As I said there were offers on the table. I’m a free agent, free and open to the world. Show me the money!”
Q: We have to talk about the rumour mill of you fighting Logan in the boxing ring, what’s stopping this from happening in 2023?
DT: “Yeah if that fight comes about I’ve got my team speaking for me and he’s got his team speaking for him. The guy is a boxer or whatever and I do just feel that I would run over him. but we’ll see maybe it will happen at some point in the future. I’m going to come into boxing and be running over these guys.”
Q: If say the Saudi’s offered you 5 million to fight Logan Paul in the desert, would you do it?
DT: “Yeah of course you know. Saudi Arabia is where the money is now for boxing. They’re paying the biggest purses and the biggest pay-per-view numbers, so if they offered me that… What comes with that in terms of sponsorship packages, money, pay-per-view points. You’d be a fool to turn that down.”
Q: Seeing Jake get beat on points by Tommy Fury, do you think you could beat Jake in the boxing ring?
DT: “One hundred percent. As I told you, if I’m gonna be boxing I’ll be running over these guys, Tommy included.”
Q: What’s the worst physical pain you’ve ever felt in the UFC octagon?
DT: “My knee. When I tore my ACL. There’s been a few but that’s the worst for sure.”
Q: What’s the most annoying injury you’ve suffered in your career so far?
DT: “It was my little toe. I dislocated my little toe and I swear it was the most excruciating pain I’ve ever had and it didn’t stop for months. You don’t realise how much weight you put on it.”
Q: You mentioned you’ve had offers since leaving the UFC, what’s the craziest one so far? Moneywise?
DT: “There’s a Polish organisation who offered me over a million to do 1st round Muay Thai, 2nd round MMA, 3rd round boxing and 4th round karate or something along those lines. They were offering a lot of money for that and it was tempting for something that’s quite a crazy concept. The only problem would be remembering which round it was and not getting disqualified for kicking during the boxing round or something haha!”