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Darren Till expected to finish Donald Cerrone early: I knew I had his number

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MMA: UFC Fight Night-Till vs Ayari Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

English prospect Darren Till was not short on confidence at UFC Gdansk.

The 24-year-old fighter scored the biggest win of his young MMA career at Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 118 in Poland. Till stopped former UFC title challenger Donald Cerrone in the first round of their welterweight contest, and according to Till, he knew Cerrone wasn’t going to see the third round.

“I expected first, second round because of how powerful I am right now,” Till told reporters at the post-fight press conference. “I’m just so powerful, I knew as soon as he walked in the cage that I had his number.

“He didn’t know how to take me. When the fight was booked and that and a lot of people were saying they don’t know me, and Cowboy’s like, ‘He doesn’t care,’ I never, ever took any disrespect to anything like that but when people actually see me in the flesh and they see how I carry myself around, they see that it’s not fake. I’m not, like, fake confidence, I just totally believe in myself, and when he walked into that cage he could just feel that air of confidence from me and I already knew I had him as soon as he walked in.”

It was no surprise that Till entered the bout with “Cowboy” as an underdog, as his opponent has been fighting at a world class level for many years, and was just recently in title contention. Till is thankful an established veteran such as Cerrone gave him the opportunity to showcase his skills in the Octagon.

“I’ve been a fan of ‘Cowboy’ since I watched him in the WEC,” Till explained. “I respect the guy. Let’s make no mistake about this, he gave me the opportunity. He could have said no to fighting Darren Till. He could’ve and nothing would’ve changed. But he said yeah. So I have the utmost respect for a guy like ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone, who will fight anyone, anytime, anyplace. For him to fight a guy like me, I’m 24, I’m hungry, I believe I can beat anyone on this Earth, that man’s got balls. I respect him so much.”

Having drawn some attention for himself with a solid victory over a top-10 welterweight, many may wonder what’s next for Till. However, there is a chance fans might not see him for the remainder of 2017, as Till plans to take a month off and his team is not too keen on him fighting anytime soon.

“I would (fight again this year), but you have your team around you and they advise you best,” Till said. “And when you believe in your team and you trust your team, you listen to them.

“I’d fight every week if I could, and I have when I was a kid, when I was 16, 17, fighting professionally. I used to fight every two weeks. But right now it’s different, you have to be smart. My manager Marcelo (Brigadeiro), he said he doesn’t want me to fight again this year, he said he wants me to just have a month off because I’ve had a two-year layoff and I’ve come back and I’ve just stormed the UFC again. I beat two top European prospects and then I’ve just took out one of the all-time greats ‘Cowboy’. So maybe I’m going to have a month off, I’ve been working relentlessly in the gym. I’m going to have a month off, get blathered a few times, and we’ll see what the new year brings. But if a fight gets booked, if the UFC says right now, ‘We’ll get you a fight in December,’ I think I’d beg my coaches and my manager to take it.”