Till says title loss 'hasn't changed me,' wants to viciously KO Masvidal


LONDON – Darren Till admits he’s still upset at his performance in a failed bid to unseat UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley but says it hasn’t affected his belief that greatness awaits.

“A loss, it depends how you take a loss,” Till told reporters, including MMAjunkie, at a UFC on ESPN+ 5 press conference today in London. “A lot of people can change from a loss. It hasn’t changed me. I know what happened in the fight.”

Till, of course, was submitted in the second round of his UFC 228 headliner with Woodley this past September. The vaunted striker never got a chance to flash his wares, with Woodley dominating the action before scoring the tap.

Till has admitted he underestimated Woodley’s talents ahead of the contest, a mistake he’ll never make again. And he believes the lessons learned from his first professional loss will serve him well moving forward.

“It wasn’t a good fight for me in no way, shape or form,” Till said. “I was fully prepared. I trained harder than I’ve ever trained in my life, and in my own opinion, it was an embarrassing performance for myself, it was. I didn’t get to throw a punch.

“It just didn’t go my way on the night, and props to the champion. But the last four months, I’ve had surgery on my nose. I didn’t tell anybody about that, but I had a broken nose, so I’ve had surgery on that, and I’ve just been keeping in the gym and trying to evolve my game and just keeping that same mentality that I think I’m the best and I know I’m the best.”

Till (17-1-1 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC) gets to test that theory on March 16, when he meets Jorge Masvidal (32-13 MMA, 9-6 UFC) in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 5, which takes place at The O2 Arena in London and streams live in its entirety on ESPN+. It’s a welterweight clash between two fighters who prefer to stand and bang, which is exactly the way “The Gorilla” wants to see it play out.

“It’s just one of this fights where there’s not a lot of bull(expletive) involved – where it’s someone like me who’s game as (expletive),” Till said. “He is game as (expletive), so I don’t really need to sit here and talk a lot of (expletive) or disrespect him in any way.”

Despite his September setback, Till still sits at No. 5 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings. Masvidal checks in at No. 15, but his star power certainly outweighs any position on a chart.

Size could certainly play a role in the contest, with Till teasing an eventual move to middleweight, while Masvidal boasts extensive previous experience in the lightweight division. Till certainly noted the difference between the two but also respects Masvidal’s history in the sport.

“I think he’s got that experience,” Till admitted. “I wouldn’t really say he’s afraid of me. I’d say he’s experienced.

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