Till (18-4-1) is only two months removed from his last outing in the Octagon. A third-round submission loss to fourth-ranked, and streaking middleweight contender, Derek Brunson. The setback was his fourth defeat in his last five fights. And he has only won a single bout in his three appearances as a 185-pound fighter in the promotion.
However, that has not stopped the UFC from keeping him in the top 10, since his recent losses came to a legitimate contender Brunson, and against Robert Whittaker. A fighter that is a former division champion, and who will challenge to reclaim his belt from champion Israel Adesanya in February.
Darren Till vs Sean Strickland could happen early in 2022
Till, who hopes to return in March, believes his place as an elite-level middleweight is still valid, “The Gorilla” does not want to take a matchup outside the top-10. It is a preference he made clear to UFC matchmakers recently, and after tossing around some names, one in particular really piqued the interest of the 28-year-old former welterweight title challenger.
“The UFC, they said to me, ‘Darren, 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. But they’re like, ‘Who do you want to fight?’ and I said [third-ranked] Jared Cannonier is a good one. ‘Oh really? Jared already?’ Of course,” Till said on the Believe You Me podcast [h/t MMAFighting], hosted by former middleweight champion Michael Bisping.
“There were a few options they threw out to me. 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.”
Strickland (24-3) is one of the hottest fighters in the division. He is currently on a five-fight win streak, and capped off that run in July, when he beat ninth-ranked Uriah Hall in his first UFC main event opportunity.
Is a fight pitting Darren Till vs Sean Strickland something you need to see early next year?