Former UFC welterweight title challenger Darren Till has opened up on his request to part ways with the promotion.
Till made headlines earlier this week when news of his removal from the UFC roster ran rampant on social media. He later admitted that the release was his decision to focus on some things away from the Octagon.
Till had struggled in the cage with losses in five of his last six fights. He most recently returned at UFC 282, losing to Dricus du Plessis via third-round submission.
Till, amidst speculation surrounding his decision, has explained the reasoning behind it.
Darren Till On UFC Release: I’ll Be Back In 2 Years
During a recent interview with MMA Junkie, Till opened up on what led to the decision to part ways.
“Basically, I’ve been suffering for the past two years, and it’s no secret,” Till said. “At this point, obviously I’ve been speaking to [UFC Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell] since the Whittaker fight when I injured my knees. He’s been going crazy over the past two years saying ‘I’ve got your back, I know you’re gonna be a champion, but you need to get your knees right’. He said it before my last fight, a fight before that…so me being stupid, I felt great in there [at UFC 282]…I kinda just neglected the grappling because I’m simply at this point in my career can’t grapple until I fix what’s wrong. Went in there probably 80% prepared again, and obviously took a loss that I feel like I shouldn’t have took…
“A few weeks after the fight, we talked again and I said ‘I’ve been thinking a bit, Hunter, and maybe I wanna just leave the UFC for 2 years and maybe just branch it out, obviously look after my health and stuff like that’,” Till continued. “So that was basically how the conversation went, no hard feelings with them, and I’m sure they’ve gotten along with me and know the type of guy I am.”
Till went on to clarify that he has a torn right ACL he’s dealt with for some time. He’ll likely undergo surgery now that his request to be released has been fulfilled.
Till then admitted he’s received interest from other promotions, including Bare Knuckle FC.
“I’ve been some fuckin’ crazy big offers the past few days,” Till revealed. “But it’s not like now that I’ve left the UFC I’m gonna hop into another organization…hopefully while I’m doing [recovery], I can do a couple of striking battles.”
BKFC has signed the likes of Luke Rockhold and Eddie Alvarez in recent days. If Till signs with BKFC, he could quickly become a household name while he addresses his knee issues.
Till made his UFC debut in May 2015 and went on a run to begin his promotional tenure. He went on to earn welterweight wins over the likes of Stephen Thompson and Donald Cerrone.
The 30-year-old Till is still arguably in his physical prime and could get his fighting career back on track. In the meantime, he’s focused on making sure he’s physically and mentally in the best shape possible.
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