At only 25 years of age, Darren Till‘s rise has been as powerful as it is unprecedented. For myself and many others Darren’s brash demeanour, unrelenting self-belief and most importantly outstanding fighting ability, have combined to make him a must-watch prospect ever since his UFC debut in 2015. For the wider MMA audience, it was Till’s fifth UFC appearance that changed everything.
When he stepped in to face one of the sports most respected veterans (Donald Cerrone), Darren Till was still relatively unknown. With his last three bouts taking place on European fight night cards — all ending in decision — fans who had yet to see Till compete were riding him off as an easy win for the more establish Cowboy Cerrone. Boy were they wrong.
When Darren Till violently dismantled Donald Cerrone in one round, he made sure that no one would ever overlook him again. From that moment on Darren Till has done nothing but grow in popularity. Becoming one of the most beloved / talked about fighters in the sport while only holding one win over a ranked opponent.
The overwhelming response that has followed Darren’s win over Cerrone has resulted in him being given the opportunity of a lifetime. This weekend Darren Till will take on Stephen Thompson in one of the most anticipated non-title fights of the year. When Till steps into the cage, he will not only be facing the toughest test of his career — in a high profile fight — but he will be achieving his dream.
In the UFC‘s first ever trip to Liverpool, Darren Till will be headlining in front of a sold-out crowd of his passionate and proud countrymen as he sets out to cement himself in history. It is moments and opportunities like this that make this sport so overwhelmingly powerful. As someone with no connection to Darren Till or Liverpool, I am given goosebumps by the thought of what that moment will feel like if Darren is able to win this fight in front of his hometown. Regardless of your opinion on the matchup or on Darren Till generally, it is impossible to bear witness to what this man is achieving and not be inspired.