Darren Till believes the middleweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Robert Whittaker was extremely close.
Adesanya successfully defended his middleweight crown after outpointing Whittaker over five rounds in the UFC 271 headliner this past weekend.
While many thought it was a clear Adesanya victory, it was certainly competitive, and some observers had “The Reaper” coming out on top.
So what did Till think?
“I thought it was very, very close,” Till said on the Michael Bisping podcast. “I’ve actually watched it twice back now… it was close, man. Some people could say it was for Whittaker, some could say for Izzy.
“I don’t like this storyline of ‘you’ve got to do enough to beat the champ.’ I feel like if you win a fight, you win a fight regardless of who’s the champion. But it was a close fight, man. It wasn’t the most exciting. I thought Rob was a bit standoffish but I enjoyed it.”
While Till — who has lost two in a row — has some work to do if he is to get a title shot in the future, seeing Adesanya and Whittaker go at it this past weekend certainly gave him lots of motivation.
“Yes, it does a lot,” Till said. “I know a lot of people are saying Izzy is the king which he is. And Rob’s ahead of everyone else but I strongly disagree. It’s funny because I’ve seen Rob and Izzy’s coach do an interview. They both still name me — Izzy’s coach says he still wants a fight with me which is incredibly humbling for him to say that even after me coming off two losses back-to-back.
“And I know Rob said I was the hardest fight he’s had. So it does give me a little more motivation and inspiration.”
Darren Till Will Only Return At 100 Percent
Till’s last outing saw him suffer a submission defeat to Derek Brunson back in September.
There has been no news on a comeback as of yet and part of the reason is because Till is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered in his knee during the buildup to the Brunson fight.
While he offers no excuses for that defeat, he only plans on returning at 100 percent — with no injuries at the start of his training camp especially.
“I’m not far from a return,” he added. “I just want to be 100 percent when I come back.”
You can watch the full interview below: