Darren Till reveals offer to fight Sean Strickland, targets March UFC return

Darren Till
Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari – Zuffa LLC

The #8 ranked UFC middleweight contender and former welterweight title chaser, Darren Till has claimed that the organization has offered him a bout with the #7 ranked challenger, Sean Strickland for his Octagon return — which he hopes to secure for March of next year.

Till, a staple of Team Kaobon in his native Liverpool, headlined UFC Vegas 36 back in September, suffering his second consecutive division defeat in the form of a third round rear-naked choke loss to division mainstay, Derek Brunson.

The defeat came as Till’s second straight at the middleweight limit following a unanimous judging loss to former division best, Robert Whittaker in July of last year in on ‘Fight Island’.

Sidelined since his loss to North Carolina native, Brunson, Till suffered an ACL tear in the weeks prior to the loss as per his longtime head coach, Colin Heron — sidelining him whilst he recovers from his latest injury setback. The top-10 contender suffered a knee injury against the above-mentioned, Whittaker which forced him from a November return against Jack Hermansson, as well as a broken collarbone which prevented him from competing against Marvin Vettori at UFC on ABC 2 in April.

Speaking with former UFC middleweight champion and fellow British representative, Michael Bisping on the latter’s podcast, Believe You Me — Till confirmed that the organization had approached him with a multitude of high-profile matchups still, including the aforenoted, Strickland despite his string of 185lbs losses.

The UFC, they said to me, ‘Darren [Till], we’re with you, we know what your potential is, we really love you, you’re always there for us, you’ll fight anyone anytime. You’re a man of the company,’ and I said of course,” Darren Till said. “But they’re like, ‘Who do you want to fight?’ and I said Jared Cannonier is a good one, ‘Oh really? Jared already?’ Of course.

There were a few options they [the UFC] threw out to me,” Darren Till said. “One fight I really liked was Sean Strickland. They offered him as well, and I actually said to Sean — because I’ve seen him a few times at the UFC — I said, ‘Sean, if you want to get it on at some point, let’s do it because I think you’re a good fighter, I think it would be a good fight.’ So listen, I’m still fighting the top and that’s how it is.” (Transcribed by MMA Fighting)

Whilst Till has suffered losses in his two most recent Octagon outings at middleweight, the outspoken, controversial Strickland is undefeated in his last five walks, the last of which came in a UFC Vegas 33 main event win against Uriah Hall.

Strickland was slated to feature at UFC 268 at Madison Square Garden earlier this month against former UFC and Strikeforce middleweight titleholder, Luke Rockhold — until the latter was forced from the tie due to a back injury. 


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