October 20, 2017

Darren Till Looks To Use Donald Cerrone To Punch His Ticket To The Next Level

By Raphael Garcia

The underdog is an interesting specimen in mixed martial arts. While all sports offer the compelling story of an expected loser pulling out a way to win under the biggest lights, this is a frequent occurrence in MMA. There’s something special about seeing fighters rise above the odds to get their hands raised. Darren Till is attempting to do that on Saturday, as he’s facing perennial contender Donald Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 118 in Gdansk, Poland.

The gap in popularity between Cerrone and Till is worth noting. As the pre-fight promotion references, Cerrone has more post-fight bonuses than Till has professional fights. “Cowboy” remains one of the most popular names in the UFC due to his in-cage skills and his willingness to fight anyone at any time. At 15-0 Till is looking to swoop in and make his name ring out with a huge victory at this event. A win on Saturday would elevate his stature in the UFC at a time when the promotion needs more personalities like his.

“I’ll beat Cerrone, and then I’ll beat the rest,” Till said as reported by Kevin Francis of the Daily Star. “I know he has a big name but I honestly don’t really care about that. I just want to go in there and knock him out. My goal is not just to win the title – it’s to become the best MMA fighter of all time.” 

Since joining the UFC in 2015, Till has slowly emerged as a fighter to watch. He’s put together a 3-0-1 record in four appearances in the Octagon. However, those wins over Bojan Velickovic, Jessin Ayari, and Wendell de Oliveira Marques do not carry the same type of weight as the numerous wins that make up Cerrone’s 32-9 professional record. But Till is doing the necessary work to put himself in a position to earn the UFC’s trust. This weekend is one such example. It used to be much more challenging to main event a UFC show, but the organization is taking more liberties in that respect, placing more men and women in a position to shine when the brightest lights are on them. Till is stepping into that limelight and seems to be ready for the “big show.”

The challenge is getting the job done. Cerrone is a consummate title contender. He puts on the types of fights that fans love and he always remains on the cusp of the title picture. If Till can get by him, he punches his ticket towards bigger fights, bigger paydays, and bigger opportunities. He knows that, as he’s already taking shots at current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.

“I’m not gonna disrespect anyone by saying give me a title shot now. I don’t believe that I earned that right, but I want to [expletive] that champion up anyway.”

The path towards doing that starts with Donald Cerrone at UFC Fight Night 118. If Darren Till can get this win, he becomes a new personality and contender to pay attention to in the UFC welterweight division.



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