What’s Next For Darren “The Gorilla” Till…..
Could a title shot be on the horizon sooner than later if the right opponent is picked?
Darren Till has become a fast-rising star. Gathering fans from all corners of the MMA world he has dispatched one opponent after the next. Till currently sits at 17-0-1 on a 20 fight win streak. His most recent victory came via a controversial decision over Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson during the UFC’s first event in his hometown of Liverpool. Till’s rise has not come without some bumps in the road. He did prove that he can stand with the best in the world, but his pre-fight issues could have done more harm than the win did good. Till missed weight for the main event by 3.5 pounds coming in at 174.5. Stipulations were put on the fight that he was not able to weigh more than 188 pounds come time to fight. The unfortunate part is that some may have overlooked his skill due to his scale mishap. Either way, he went in and got the job done in the eyes of the judges. He was also humble in his post-fight press conference in saying he does not deserve a title shot but would fight anyone in the welterweight division. So what’s next for a welterweight on a hot streak. Below are some of the options.
Demian Maia (25-9):
Maia is arguably one of if not the greatest BJJ practitioner in MMA. He is currently on a three-fight skid at what could be the tail end of a phenomenal career. His last three losses are to all top-level opponents such as Tyron Woodley, Stephen Thompson, and Kamaru Usman. While Maia relies on his ground game Till is primarily a striker. It would be interesting to see if Till could fend off the relentless takedown attempts of Maia as some of the highest level welterweights have had to do in the past. I do not believe Till has faced someone with the level of ground game Maia brings to the table. With both fighters being just outside the top 5 this fight stands to benefit both men.
Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (14-3-1):
What else is there to say about this pick? They had a technical striking battle that was worth the price of admission. The decision has been called controversial by the majority of media outlets scoring it, but the judges gave Till the nod. Thompson would like to rectify the loss and Till would like to prove that he is truly the better fighter.
Kamaru “The Nigerian Nightmare” Usman (13-1):
Another young gun on a hot streak looking to get his first shot at UFC gold. Usman recently defeated Demian Maia in a dominant 5 round affair. Usman has not lost since May 2013. He is also sitting on a 14 win streak and is also in the market for a top 5 opponent. Usman has not been shy about saying he will fight anyone. This fight could be a deciding factor in which young star gets the first crack at the belt after it is unified.
The loser of “RDA” Rafael dos Anjos (28-9) and Colby Chaos” Covington (13-1):
Dos Anjos is currently ranked number 1 in a stacked welterweight division. In November 2016 he dropped a decision to Tony Ferguson. After reevaluation, he decided to make the move from lightweight to welterweight. Since making the move he has won all three of his welterweight appearances. Dos Anjos brings great striking, wicked leg kicks, and a great ground game to the table. A loss to Covington would still leave him very high up on the list and the winner of dos Anjos and Till could be your next title challenger.
Covington has been on a tear as of late putting himself at the number 4 position. His last loss was in June of 2016 where he got caught in a submission. Since then he has been taking out opponent after opponent winning 5 in a row. With all the pre and post fight antics I think some are forgetting that Covington has the skill and mindset to get a title. While he does have good striking his ground game and wrestling is top notch. A loss to dos Anjos would also leave Covington very high up on the list and again would make a good argument for a title shot.
Who do you think should be the next one to share the octagon with Till? Only time will tell….