Darren Till has split his fights at middleweight since moving up the divisions in the UFC. He beat Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 244 but lost to Robert Whittaker in the final Fight Island event. En route to his latest defeat, ‘The Gorilla’ also suffered a knee injury that will see him unable to train for a few weeks.
Given the close nature of his latest fight, fans believe that ‘The Gorilla’ could have had his hand raised had he not been injured. The reasoning stems from Till’s performance in the fifth round, where he busted his opponent open with a clean strike to the side of the head.
However, the 6th ranked middleweight fighter addressed these claims. In a chat with Ariel Helwani on ESPN MMA, he said, “Nah, you know me. I don’t like to say anything like that. I think the fight was close as it was a great fight. Anyone watching from the outside can say what they want.”
“But I tell you, I truly understand, the way we were fighting with each other, the feints, inside the Octagon it was really stressful we were both trying to get somewhere to overcome it.”
Despite the injury, Till believes he dominated in the power department. At the same time, he touches upon his opponent’s style of fighting for the entire 25 minutes. Robert Whittaker was the busier of the two and kept connecting with more and more strikes.
“I think I landed the more power shots and I think what Rob done is try to steal rounds with little kicks that didn’t mean anything but steal the rounds. Cause in the fifth- I felt I won the fifth.”
Darren Till believes he could have provided stiffer opposition had his knee been better
Till maintains that he wouldn’t like to say anything about his knee affecting the final result. However, he believes he would have been able to defend the takedowns way better had he been at 100%.
Even in the final five minutes, ‘The Gorilla’ kept the fight close. Some had it 3-1 to Whittaker whilst others, including Till, assumed it was a 2-2 with the final round up for grabs.
“The takedowns are unnecessarily counted because every time I sprung back up. I’ll say one thing, in the fifth, if my knee was better I’d have been able to defend the takedowns. At the time I was fighting on pure grit because you know me. I don’t want to say ‘Oh my knee was better, I would’ve won the fight’.”
Till says that fighters either win a fight or lose a fight. This gives fans the idea that he has accepted what happened. Furthermore, it shows us that he is only focused on what lies ahead as he attempts to rise in the rankings and challenge for a UFC belt once more.
He concluded, “Rob won the fight, and that’s the end of. When people give excuses…it just doesn’t cook here with me. You either win a fight or lose a fight.”
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