UFC 228 is now available on Amazon Prime.
Darren Till’s (17-0-1) next fight will see him vie for the Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight title against reigning belt holder Tyron Woodley, in the UFC 228 main event, on Sept. 08 at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
In the lead up to the eagerly-awaited match-up, here are five things that you might not know about the brash 25-year-old Liverpudlian.
1. He initially started training in muay Thai.At the age of 12, Till started training muay Thai and kick boxing in his home town of Liverpool, England. He turned professional at 15. Two years later at the age of 17, Till won a K-1 European title. His overall kickboxing record stands at 44-0.
2. He is no stranger to adversity.
After leaving school at the tender age of 14, Till knew that his destiny was to be a professional fighter. Though he has gone on to achieve great success in his chosen field, his path has been filled with adversity. In August 2012, Till got involved in a mass fracas at a Liverpool nightclub. It culminated in him being stabbed twice in the back, resulting in a punctured lung and nearly having an artery severed. This close brush with death was to change the course of Till’s life. In his UFC Fight Night 76 clash with Nicolas Dalby in Oct. 15, Till had looked utterly dominant in the first 2-rounds, but after picking up a serious shoulder injury, he was unable to mount any offence in the third, and the contest ended up being ruled a majority draw. The injury was to keep Till on the shelf for a year and a half.
3. He used to live Brazil.
It was the stabbing incident that led to his Team Kaobon coach Colin Heron persuading Till to relocate to Brazil, in order to escape the distractions of his home city. Till arrived in Brazil with little money and not a word of Portuguese, but he soon settled in the country, and ended up staying there for three and a half years. Till lived in Balneario Camboriu in the south of the country and trained at the esteemed Astra Fight Team. After going 3-0 in the Brazilian amateur ranks, Till fought his first 12 professional contests in South America, winning all of them. On his return to the UK, he reconvened training at Liverpool’s Team Kaobon and commenced competing in the UFC.
4. He has had his issues with the scales.
Till’s failure to make weight for his clash against Stephen Thompson at UFC Fight Night 130 has been much-publicised. However, this was not the first time that Till has come in over weight. The 6-foot striker also came in heavy for his match-up against Jessin Ayari, at UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs Teixeira. On that occasion he weighed 176 pounds; five-pounds over the non-title fight welterweight limit. This resulted in Till forfeiting 20-percent of his purse. Considering the fact that he reputedly walks around well in excess of 200-pounds, it seems inevitable that Till will make the move to the middleweight division in the foreseeable future.
5. He has a very large tattoo on his left arm.
If you have seen Till fight, you will have noticed the large tattoo of a smiling blonde lady on his upper left arm. Some initially postulated that it was of UFC fighter Paige VanZant. Till has since revealed that the tattoo is of his Brazilian ex-girlfriend, whom he has a daughter with. He got the tattoo as a birthday gift for his former beau.
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