UFC middleweight contender Darren Till is not best pleased to have been branded the “pull-out guy” following some failed matchups in recent years.
Once touted as a future champion on MMA’s biggest stage, Till has slipped down the pecking order owing to some setbacks inside the Octagon and injuries outside it. After following up a failed title challenge at welterweight with a knockout loss to Jorge Masvidal in 2019, “The Gorilla” re-began his quest for glory at 185 pounds.
But while he opened his middleweight account with a victory over former interim title challenger Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 244, Till hasn’t had his hand raised since, falling to a decision loss against Robert Whittaker and a devastating submission defeat to Derek Brunson in back-to-back main event appearances.
In-between those two setbacks, Till had headliners opposite Jack Hermansson and Marvin Vettori shelved following injuries. And this year, the Brit was once again forced out of a bout with “The Joker,” this time for July’s UFC London event.
With those withdrawals in mind, Till has developed a reputation among some corners of the fanbase, and it’s not one that he appreciates.
Till: “I’ve Drove My Body Into The Ground”
During a recent interview with ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto, Till looked ahead to his upcoming return to action, which is slated to come against rising South African contender Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 282 on December 10.
Discussing the tough period he’s had since his defeat to Brunson last September, Till noted the “pull-out guy” narrative that many have attached to his career.
“It’s been a tough year for me, it really has,” Till said. “I hate the fact this narrative (has emerged) that I’m the pull-out guy, that I get injured really easily. Man, I’ve drove my body into the ground. You guys don’t realize, I probably train as hard as anyone in the UFC. I’m one of the hardest trainers. But you know, you just have to take it.”
The withdrawal tag associated with Till was quickly evident upon the announcement of his clash with Du Plessis, with many immediately suggesting that the matchup won’t go ahead.
Nevertheless, “The Gorilla” will look to prove his doubters wrong and re-rail his train towards the top — a place Till firmly believes he has the talent to reach. First things first, though, the Liverpool native will need to defend his #9 spot on the middleweight ladder.
What do you make of the “pull-out guy” narrative surrounding Darren Till?