There weren’t any fight announcements to write about today, and the UFC weigh-ins have still yet to be completed so there’s no chance to write about any weight misses, but we do have a piece of important news to share regarding one of the UFC’s rising stars, and I’ll give my thoughts on that in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Darren Till Announces Move To 185lbs
Former UFC welterweight title contender Darren Till revealed at PaddyPower.com that he will be moving up to middleweight for his next fight. Till, who was choked out by Tyron Woodley at last month’s UFC 228 event, famously missed weight twice as a welterweight, first to Jessin Ayari in 2017 and then against Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson back in May of this year, though he won both those fights. A video of Till’s horrible weight cut prior to that “Wonderboy” fight was leaked onto the internet and fans and media were outraged such a big man was cutting so much weight to make 170lbs. Though he won a controversial decision against Thompson, the UFC gave him a title shot at 170lbs anyways, in the hope that he would become a champion and the promotion’s new English star with Michael Bising retiring. That didn’t happen, and losing in his bid to become the welterweight champion convinced Till the move up to 185lbs was the right call for his health and safety, not to mention future title aspirations.
Till hasn’t said when he will be fighting next, but you’d figure he would want a few months off to recover and replenish after another tough weight cut for the Woodley fight. When he does return, he should look much better at 185lbs as he will be able to eat more during training camp and theoretically be able to train harder and longer. I personally think the move to middleweight was the right call and I can see Till having more success up a weight class in the vein of Kelvin Gastelum and Robert Whittaker. For his first fight at middleweight, I suggest the UFC matches up Till with Anderson Silva. It’s a great machup matchup between two strikers and it makes sense for the UFC to give Till a veteran with a name and see if it floats or sinks at middleweight. Silva was a great champion for years, but his chin is diminished now and if Till goes out there and knocks him out the UFC can push him towards a title shot at 185lbs.
If not Silva, perhaps the UFC could re-sign Vitor Belfort and match him up with Till. Again, it would be a great fight between two strikers and Belfort’s chin is diminished so Till could very well finish him and become a big star. Considering Till trained in Brazil for years, the UFC could maybe do him against Silva or Belfort down in Brazil. I’m just brainstorming here, but I would prefer the UFC matched Til up with a veteran for now before throwing him in with the young bucks at the top of 185lbs. Either way, I’m glad he made the move to middleweight.