Darren Till is little over a week away from the biggest fight of his life at UFC Gdansk.
The Team Kaobon man will take on Donald Cerrone on October 21 in a fight that not many saw coming before it was announced. The new came just after Till beat Bojan Velickovic at UFC Rotterdam and speaking to MMAUNO.com earlier this week, Till explained that UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby approached him about the Cerrone fight immediately after.
“After my fight in Rotterdam I was just down in the bar having a drink with the guys and that,” Till said. “Sean Shelby said congratulations to me and that he told me he was impressed. He said he liked my confidence in myself and he just mentioned the fight. He said that Cerrone wants to fight in Poland and asked if I’d fight him. I just said yes of course I will.
“I’ll fight anyone in any division and I’m not lying about that. So Sean then talked to my manager and within three days the contract was signed and the fight was made. It was really as simple as that.
“Hats off to Cerrone because he didn’t have to take a fight against a guy like me, but he did. I’ve got a lot of respect for him doing that.”
Till taking no prisoners
Many have pointed to the fact that Cerrone’s experience will give him a big advantage over Till, but the man from Liverpool doesn’t appeared to be fazed. Till admitted he had a lot of respect for Cerrone, but he added that on the night he expects his power is going to be the difference between the two fighters.
“I’ll never ever disrespect any fighter who steps in that Octagon with me,” Till said. “They’ve always got my full respect and Donald has had a great career and he’s fought some of the best fighters in the world. He’s one of the best and again, hats off to him, but I’m a different kind of fighter compared to the rest of them. They’re good, but once in a while a special fighters comes along and I am that special fighter.
“It doesn’t matter how much experience Donald has got, I’m on a different level and he’s going to struggle with what I bring to the table. I don’t see him making it out of this fight uninjured. If he strikes with me, he’s going to get very badly hurt.
“It’s going to be violent and I will be very vicious. He won’t be able to take what I’m going to give out.”
Size an advantage
Such is Till’s confidence in his power, he believes Cerrone will try take him down to the mat after exchanging with him on the feet. Till pointed at the size advantage he will take walking into the Octagon with Cerrone and he expects it’s going to make a big difference on fight night.
“He’s definitely coming to take this fighter to the ground and that’s 100-percent fact,” Till said. “He’s not going to strike with me and if he does he’s just going to feel power that he’s never felt before. He’s not a welterweight, it’s only because he’s getting older and the weight cut to lightweight is too hard for him. I’m not a normal welterweight—I cut a lot of weight to get to 170-pounds. I hit so hard, guys like Aspinall have felt my power and they tell me I hit hard.
“Right now I’m like 87-kilos so I’ve got a 10-kilo cut for the fight in two weeks.”
“That’s light for me because I’m barely out my last fight camp and I’ve been so active. It’s not gone up a lot and I’m not worried about the weight cut. To be honest they never bother me. Right now I’m in a good position and I’m happy with the way it’s all going. At the weekend I had a can of coke and a piece of chocolate and it’s all going to plan.”
It’s all part of the game
The surge in media attention that Till has received following the fight announcement hasn’t thrown him off guard. The British welterweight said he knows it’s part of the fight game and he understands the value of making people care about his fights.
“I’m loving the extra media,” Till said. “Sometimes us fighters aren’t in the mood to do these sort of things, but every time you just have to keep telling yourself that it’s part of the fight game. These media obligations are so important and building up the fight makes people care about it.
“It’s all part and parcel so on the days you don’t feel like doing it you just got to suck it up and get on with it. That’s why people like Conor McGregor are remembered.
“You need to promote yourself.”