Darren Till has a big fight to prepare, but that didn’t stop him from having fun at the expense of Mike Perry along the way.
On Saturday, Till will face former middleweight champion Robert Whittaker in the main UFC event on ESPN 14 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. He’s focused on his comeback, but he’s also taken every opportunity to get under Perry’s skin – including an insulting website poking fun at his rival.
The attacks caught Perry’s attention. After his win over Mickey Gall last month at UFC on ESPN 12, he told reporters that if he saw Till anywhere there would be a fight. “Platinum” even threatened to “put my finger in his eye”.
In a recent interview with BT Sport, Till responded to these threats from Perry.
“I think it’s just because he’s got a new girl and stuff (like) that probably offended his sensitivity a little bit. But it’s the fighting game, mate, ”Till said. “You have to be able to take it all on the chin, and he obviously can’t.
“So he talks like the next time he sees me he’s going to poke me in the eye or something.” Come on, buddy, we both know this won’t happen. I am [6-foot-2]. I would lift him straight from his feet, but I don’t mind. Let him take offense.
When Till was competing in the welterweight division, there was a time when all signs were pointing to a fight between him and Perry. The fight never materialized and the pair’s careers went in opposite directions.
Till rose to 185 pounds after finishing in back-to-back fights by former champion Tyron Woodley and Jorge Masvidal. In his first middleweight appearance in the Octagon, the 27-year-old earned a split decision victory over Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 244.
While a global pandemic took the world by storm, Till was very active on social media, which significantly increased his stock in this department. When it comes to taking pictures of Perry, or even current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, it wasn’t personal.
“It was about time – nothing to do, one workout a day,” Till explained. “We were all bored with our minds. I thought, “How can I make this experience a better one for everyone who follows me?” So everyone knows I was having jokes with the champion and then jokes with Mike Perry, (he) took the wrong direction.
“That’s all I’ve done, and I have a good sense of humor and I can write things and words. “
Perry found himself in trouble after the recent emergence of a video showing he was beating an older man at a restaurant in Lubbock, Texas. According to a police report, Perry struck at least three different victims, one of the victims claiming to have also struck a woman trying to break the initial argument.
The UFC has issued a statement that Perry will not be offered to fight until he finishes a treatment program.
Till wishes the best for Perry, but when it comes to a future fight, don’t expect it to happen.
“I hope he’s okay,” Till said. “I hope he gets the fights he wants, (but) he’s never going to beat me. I am fighting against contenders, former champions. He has to worry about his way first before he starts to worry about me because he doesn’t get this fight.