Darren Till believes he is following the blueprint of the biggest UFC star of all.
Till wasn’t the least bit surprised of the ease with which he dispatched Donald Cerrone in the UFC Fight Night 118 headliner in Gdansk, Poland, on Saturday. The undefeated Englishman rolled through his opponent, overwhelming the popular “Cowboy” just 4:20 into the opening stanza. It was by far the most significant victory of Till’s career, and it was also his most dominant.
Till likened his signature triumph to Conor McGregor’s 13-second knockout of Jose Aldo at UFC 194, a victory that earned “The Notorious” Irishman the featherweight crown.
“Look at McGregor and Aldo — Aldo was ruling for so long and was so dominant and then a young, hungry, trash talking guy comes up and defeats him. You could say this is like that,” Till said. “And I’m not taking anything away from Cowboy but he’s been around for a long time and now this is my time. I expect to keep on going and to have a long career. It’s time to hand the baton over and I feel like I am that guy.”
Till is unbeaten in five Octagon appearances and 16-0-1 as a professional overall. However, prior to besting Cerrone, he did not have the resume of a fighter on the cusp of title contention. Now he could be a lot closer to the top of the division after dominating one of the sport’s most recognizable stars.
“I’m not going to say I want the title shot now. I’m ready and I could beat the champion but, out of respect, I would never call the champion out now,” said Till, who called Demian Maia — not reigning champ Tyron Woodley — the toughest fight in the welterweight division at Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “But I definitely know in my heart of hearts that I will be champion; there is not a doubt in my mind.”
While Till and Cerrone engaged in the obligatory pre-fight trash talk, there was nothing but mutual respect in the aftermath of their bout.
“I just took out Cowboy Cerrone who, for me, is in the top ten of all time greats. I will remember this night forever,” Till said. “It’s the biggest night to date in my career. Cowboy gave me an opportunity and I took it with both hands. Hopefully he knows my name now, but I think I’m going to buy him a beer and introduce myself properly in the bar later on.”