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Darren Till would fight Kamaru Usman, but understands ‘safe champion’ Tyron Woodley’s logic

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Darren Till says he will face Kamaru Usman if Tyron Woodley is somehow forced out of their UFC 228 championship bout.

Earlier this week, Woodley claimed that would not face Usman despite “The Nigerian Nightmare” being drafted in as backup for the welterweight title clash, in an interview on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show.

Till acknowledged that Usman is now simply playing backup for him on Sept. 8. He claimed that he felt like he is being treated like the only person who has ever missed weight in the UFC following his well-documented failure to register within the welterweight limit for his Liverpool clash with Stephen Thompson.

“[Usman] is a backup for me,” Till told the gathered media at the UFC Performance Institute on Tuesday following his open workout.

“To be honest, I don’t really care. I feel like I’m the only fighter that’s ever missed weight in the UFC, to be honest. When we talk about weight now it’s, ‘Darren Till’. I missed weight, people need to just get over it.”

Although Usman is on standby for the Dallas showdown, Till says he has not thought about the replacement welterweight too much ahead of the championship date.

“If Usman is there and ready and by some chance I miss weight…Tyron says he’s not going to fight him I’ve seen. It is what it is, they’ve got the backup, they’ve told him and he’s doing what he’s told, so I’m not arsed. I’m just focused on Friday making 170, and then Saturday; going in and absolutely destroying Tyron Woodley,” he said.

“That’s all I’m focusing on now. I’m not focusing on what she says or what he says online, or what Usman says, or what anybody says…I don’t really care. It’s Darren ‘I don’t care’ Till.”

Till went on to say that he has a different mentality than Woodley and would be happy to prove he’s the best in the world against anyone, including Usman on Sept. 8.

“We all have different mentalities on this. If I was in Tyron’s shoes and Tyron missed weight, I’d fight Usman. When you say you’re the best, and you believe you’re the best, you can fight anyone. I’d fight him,” Till explained.

“I understand where Tyron is coming from. He’s training for a 6-foot-2 guy — a big middleweight — strong power, good defense, puts pressure on…his whole game gets changed for a guy who is similar to himself in size, wrestling background and power. I can understand where he’s coming from, but he’s being, shall we say, a safe champion. He has reasons behind it.”

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