Darren Till not planning to fight MMA outside UFC after release, but says there’s been ‘crazy offers’
Darren Till has officially parted ways with the UFC, but don’t expect him to show up in another MMA organization anytime soon.
One-time UFC title contender appeared on Believe me a podcast that talks about his recent release from the UFC at his request, including what this means for his fighting future and whether he will be competing as well as taking time off to recover from his injuries.
“I spoke to [UFC executive] Hunter [Campbell] and the UFC guys – this is after my last fight – because Hunter has been on me for a long time, like, the last two years since I fought [Robert] Whitaker, Till said. “He always says tough things to me: “Darren Till, listen. We believe in you, you’re going to go all the way, but we’re sick of you being hurt. We just don’t put up with it. It went on for two years and I always promised, “Yes, yes, I’m fine now,” but obviously I just wasn’t okay for two years. I just didn’t service my body.
“After the last fight, I told him, ‘Hunter, look, I really need to get my body in order, but I feel like I need to do it outside of the UFC. I feel like I need two years to just go and focus on something else for the moment as a distraction.” He said, “Think about it, we don’t have a habit of bringing people back to the UFC after they’ve left.” In my mind, I thought, “It’s good that you said it now, but I’ll be back when the time is ready.”
“We were talking, and then the other day it turned out that I was fired, but apparently they sent me the release documents because I asked them if I could be released. And that’s it, then the news just came out, and since then my phone has not turned off. It’s a new little chapter until I get back there.”
The last few years have been a struggle for Till, who has fought from time to time due to frequent injuries and has had little success when he managed to get into the octagon. He has only competed six times since 2018, with one win in that time. Till is currently on a three-fight losing streak with a submission loss in his last two fights.
Till is now a free agent, but out of respect for Campbell and UFC President Dana White, he doesn’t expect too many outside UFC appearances.
“I think that would be disrespectful,” Till said. “I have a good relationship with Hunter and Dana, I think it would be disrespectful of me to say that I am going to go and fix my body and then participate in fights outside the UFC, although the last two days I have had some fucking crazy offers to fight on other shows. Everyone writes to me, to all managers and the like. “Someone wants to give you this or that.” I’m like, okay. In my opinion, it would be disrespectful to Hunter and Dana to do this, whether I do it or not, that’s another matter, you have to think about yourself, money and stuff. I probably won’t do it.
“That’s the problem. I can hit. I can hit all day, there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just that as soon as I start to enter MMA, my knees just buckle, and at the moment there’s just nothing left for them. I think it’s time to get them right and really serve them in the best possible way, and I think I’m going to do that, so that’s the plan.”
Till assured hosts Michael Bisping and Anthony Smith that he was doing well mentally and that at 30 he still had plenty of time to recover. This does not mean that he will sit on his laurels for the next couple of years.
If possible, Till could try other martial arts that don’t do the same damage to his body as MMA.
“I have a two-year plan in my head,” Till said. “I feel like this is going to be a hell of an incredible plan and I’m going to execute it to the best of my ability. That’s it, I don’t want to talk much about it, but I’m going to make a lot of money. I’ll probably do one or two big matches because that’s my forte and hopefully by then I’ll have dealt with this fucking torn knee and stuff and I’ll be fine.
“Listen to how many guys come into the UFC and say, ‘Let me go. How many guys actually do this? Some guys when they leave like Nate [Diaz] wanted to be freed and all, but there aren’t many guys who do that and I’ve had a lot of time to think about my decision. That’s why I was happy when Hunter said to me, “Till, think about it, because it’s a big decision.” Think about what you’re doing. And I said, “Okay, Hunter, I respect that. Give me two weeks to just think. I have thought about the plan, the route, the path, and I have a complete plan.
Till did not elaborate on what his exact plans are, although he has insisted that he wants to return to the UFC when his health improves. Until then, he expects to maintain his strong relationship with Campbell and White.
“There are three big organizations – I won’t name them – but they told the people who came to me that I’m in vogue now if everyone wants me,” Till said. “But like I said, everyone in the sport knows what kind of guy I am. I’m probably a bit of a maniac, but I have my own models, values, and respect, so I probably wouldn’t do this to Hunter and Dana, after my release, I’ll just walk away and sign a contract with another organization. I wouldn’t do that, I’m a decent guy. Whether people think they are respectful or not, they have always treated me with respect, so I have to give back the same energy.”