If a “Fight Island” offer comes his way, Darren Till says he’ll accept.
Like the rest of his UFC counterparts, Till (18-2-1 MMA, 6-2-1 UFC) is currently in limbo when it comes to his next fight. Booked to fight Robert Whittaker at UFC Dublin on Aug. 15, Till will have to wait for the COVID-19 pandemic to run its course before he knows whether or not he’ll compete on that date..
“I know there are mixed opinions on it,” Till said in a recent interview with the “Fight Disciples” podcast. “I don’t know whether it’s good or bad. I don’t know whether to have an opinion on it. If you’re not allowed to go socialize, is it good to put an event on? Is it good to try to do it for the fighters and for the viewers to be entertained? (Expletive), whatever. My little thing to say now mate is, ‘Opinions are like (expletive), everyone’s got one.’”
If the UFC calls in the next few weeks and wants Till to fight sooner, he said he’d be willing. However, Till is skeptical there will be fights in the near future. He predicted three more months of UFC hiatus before the action resumes.
“Do I think I’ll fight?” Till said. “I mean, yeah if they call it up and say, ‘Let’s do it. We’ve got the island open. We’ve agreed to it now. You’re going to be the fourth event against Whittaker.’ Yeah, I’ll fight. I can’t see any fights happening in the next three months. I don’t think we’ve even hit a proper lockdown yet. … Another few weeks and it’ll be one of them (orders) where you won’t be allowed to leave the house unless it’s essential.”
While Till said he’ll fight, he’s not sure he’d find many willing opponents. Given the circumstances, Till said he isn’t willing to criticize anyone for declining.
“I don’t want to throw hate anyone’s way,” Till said. “You know what I mean? Everyone has got their reasons. Maybe when Leon (Edwards) said, ‘No,’ to getting on the plane to go to fight (Tyron) Woodley, maybe he was more right in saying no. … In everyone’s eyes, even in my eyes, he had that right. But I wouldn’t have said, ‘No.’ I would’ve said, ‘Yeah.’ Then, is that selfish on my part, or what?”
If the fights take place without a crowd, Till indicated he won’t be distracted. The circumstances aren’t unusual for him, considering he’s had fights with small audiences – outside the cage.
“My ‘foe’ (Jorge) Masvidal put on Twitter,” Till said. “He said, ‘Fighting in front of no crowds, that’s new to do.’ He’s done it in backyards. Obviously, I’ve never been filmed fighting in backyards. I’ve done enough fighting on the street, mate. If they rung me and said, ‘Listen, you’re going to get paid as normal for a fight against Whittaker. You have a month to get ready.’ I’d stay sound, yeah. I’d run everyday to keep my weight down and go fight.
“It is what it is. I’d go in there with the mentality I’m not the fittest I’m going to be, whatever. I’m just going in there to slug it out. I think that’s the mentality that’d I’d have. So I’d do it, yeah. But will everyone else?”