“I Was Trying to Fake an Injury” – When Darren Till Tried to Skip a UFC Fight

Published 07/23/2020, 6:31 AM EDT


UFC Fighter Darren Till is one of the hardest punchers in the sport. He has earned this compliment from the man who beat him in his final Welterweight fight in BMF Champion Jorge Masvidal. ‘The Gorilla’ rode a wave of momentum in Brazil before signing with the UFC as an undefeated fighter after 12 professional matches. 

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However, despite this, the fighter revealed that he is nervous before entering the cage. This is because reputation can take one only so far as it is on the line in every single match. The competitors know that all it takes is one misstep or a clean connection to undo years of hard work that saw them ascend the rankings. 

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The Gorilla‘ experienced this after Tyron Woodley snapped his 17-fight unbeaten streak in a Welterweight Championship fight at UFC 228.

Later, Till beat Kelvin Gastelum via split decision at UFC 244 and arrived for the post-fight media interaction on crutches. Here he revealed that he was injured and even contemplated pulling out of the event. Via MMA Junkie, he said, “Just to get in there tonight, I tell you. I was trying to fake an injury before walking out. I was thinking of an injury to fake because I just simply did not want to get in there.”

Darren Till says fighters don’t usually talk about pre-fight nerves

‘The Gorilla’ reveals that this is what every combatant goes through as they stride from their locker room to the cage.

“This is probably a thing fighters don’t talk about. But you know me and I’m honest. That’s just where I was at.” 

The fight saw ‘The Gorilla’ return to the Middleweight division for the first time since his days in South America. He made the switch on the back of weight cut issues and 2 consecutive losses at Welterweight. A buoyant Till declared that he had arrived at 185 lbs and was charting a path for the title. 

“Now, I’m here. Confidence is back. Like (expletive) all these middleweights. I’m coming for everything. It’s back.”

At this point, ‘The Gorilla’ revisited his earlier statement of fighters being scared. He said if anyone claims the opposite it is “A blatant lie.” Following this declaration, he speaks in-depth about his pre-fight nerves at Madison Square Garden. 

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“This fighter wasn’t scared, I was terrified. I wasn’t shaking, but I just didn’t want to go. The magnitude of the event, I was doubting. I was thinking of ways to get out of the fight. This was only today and I’m just so scared.”

Now, Darren Till has a clear cut method to fast track himself back into the UFC title picture, albeit in a different division. He fights the top-ranked Middleweight in Robert Whittaker on Saturday and knows a win will see him jump in the rankings. 

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He is undefeated at Middleweight and will be desperate to re-establish a UFC winning streak. However, as always fans will know that the fighter will be nervous as he strides into the Flash Forum to close out the UFC’s Fight Island sojourn.

What did you make of Darren Till’s honest revelation?

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Reubyn Coutinho

1008 articles

Reubyn Coutinho is a Combat Sports editor at EssentiallySports with over 2 years of journalistic experience. Having earned his bachelor's degree in Mass Media with a specialization in Journalism from Xavier's College, Reubyn has interned with the sports desks at DNA and Times Now before joining EssentiallySports to further his passion for sports content. Reubyn has interviewed former UFC champions like 'Mighty Mouse' Demetrious Johnson and Miesha Tate.

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