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25th May 2018

Huge Darren Till refuses to rule out run at light heavyweight

The undefeated Liverpool fighter is one of the bigger welterweights

Darragh Murphy

It’s not until you’re standing next to Darren Till that you fully appreciate how big he is.

The imposing Till would not look out of place at 185lbs but, with youth on his side, he is content to continue putting himself through some rough weight cuts in order to claim as many world titles as possible and cement his legacy as a true great of the sport.

The toughest test of Till’s career to date comes on Sunday night, when he fights in his native Liverpool for the very first time as a professional mixed martial artist.

The undefeated Scouser welcomes former welterweight challenger Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson to Merseyside this weekend and the pair of top 170lbers will close out the UFC’s first ever event in Liverpool.

After being branded ‘The Future’ by UFC President Dana White, Till has been rewarded with the opportunity to headline a UFC card for the second consecutive time and he will most definitely be the larger man when he makes the walk to the Octagon in the Echo Arena.

A stoppage victory over Thompson, which is exactly what Till is predicting, could well make him the number one contender for Tyron Woodley’s welterweight title but the Englishman has refused to rule out the possibility of moving up to middleweight and even light heavyweight before he hangs up his gloves.

“It’s always a big cut for me,” Till exclusively told JOE on Friday afternoon. “I’m a big lad for the welterweight division. It’s always going to be a struggle to make welterweight, not a struggle but I do have hard times. I have to regulate my food and that.

“I’m here, I’m going to make weight and I’m going to beat Stephen.

“I know I’m going to be welterweight champion and, after that, I definitely dream of other titles in higher weight classes.

“I want to win everything. I want to be a champion. I want to be a big champion.”

When pressed on whether he could foresee himself competing as high as 205lbs, the ever-ambitious Till refused to rule out that scenario.

“We shall see. I’ve still got 10 years left to fight so let’s see how big I get,” Till said.

It almost feels like one is doing Till’s potential an injustice by comparing him to Conor McGregor but the pair do possess very similar traits as huge southpaws in the weight class at which they began competing.

Both men hail from small European working class cities where MMA was an underground phenomenon before their emergence and both also have an unwavering belief in their own abilities.

Not to mention the fact that both ‘The Gorilla’ and McGregor put themselves through hell to make the weight limit in order to add that first UFC world title to their collection.

“I always walk around at about 93 kilos (205lbs) and cut down to about 90 kilos four weeks out,” Till said.

“As the weeks go on, I get to 89/88 and then two weeks out, we start the big cut.”