Darren Till believes a win over Robert Whittaker on Saturday night will earn him a shot at the UFC middleweight championship.
The Liverpudlian only made his victorious middleweight debut against Kelvin Gastelum at the end of 2019, meaning he could be challenging for the 185-pound title just three fights into his tenure in his new division if all goes according to plan.
Given the calibre of opponent he has faced/is facing at both welterweight and middleweight, Till thinks it would be an opportunity earned if he can get past ex-UFC champion Whittaker on Fight Island.
“Look at my resume from welterweight and look at my resume at middleweight,” Till said during the UFC on ESPN 4 virtual media day. [H/T Sherdog] “Look at the two guys I’m fighting in my debuts at middleweight. Of course I deserve a title shot.
“I’ve never campaigned, but I feel like the stars have aligned. I beat Gastelum easily, and he gave [Israel] Adesanya the most trouble. And now Saturday I see myself beating Whittaker.
“I’ve beaten two of the best guys at middleweight. Where do you want me to go, do you want me to do backwards? [If] I beat Whittaker, I don’t want to hear any other name come out of anyone’s mouth apart from Israel Adesanya.”
Of course, Adesanya is not guaranteed to be the man Till faces if he can best Whittaker on Saturday night.
Adesanya is reportedly booked to defend his UFC middleweight title against Brazil’s Paulo Costa at UFC 253 in September.
Regardless, Till has an inkling that this fight may not go ahead as planned, given Costa’s recent injury woes, and he will resume training after his latest fight in case he’s required in a couple of months’ time.
“I don’t know if I see it [happening] yet. I’ll step in,” Till said.”If all goes well and I win, I’m gonna jump straight back into training and stay ready for September. Something could happen.”