Locked down in the U.K. as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Darren Till livestreamed a confrontation with police officers over wearing a mask.
Till is shown in multiple videos screaming at officers as he stops for gas. The location where the video was filmed is unclear; Till resides in Liverpool, which is subject to the same restrictions that lawmakers say could last until March.
Darren Till is having none of it. pic.twitter.com/wAOWSoO59l— No Context Scouse (@NoContextScouse) January 20, 2021
Darren Till is currently getting arrested on IG Live pic.twitter.com/i3oVGKmZ3g— Λ (@ImAntoMMA) January 20, 2021
“Why am I out at my local garage getting water, and he’s coming out asking me about a mask,” Till rants as a pair of officers stand outside his car. “And I said, ‘Mate, I’ve got no proof right now.’ So let me on my way then.”
As the officer tries to talk Till down, the UFC middleweight interrupts, “Go away! Now! You’re a muppet! Get out of my face! Look how you’ve got me speaking!”
Masks have been the subject of many a viral video across the world as authorities attempt to enforce mandates to wear them in order to avoid the spread of COVID-19. After relaxing restrictions in late 2020, the U.K. government this past month implemented another lockdown as a new, more contagious strain of the virus was discovered in the country.
Till most recently fought this past July at UFC Fight Island 3, where he lost a unanimous decision to ex-champ Robert Whittaker. He is 1-1 since moving to the middleweight division from welterweight.
Shortly after the confrontation, Till posted on his official Instagram a message in support of wearing masks and explained his side of the story. The veteran fighter said he told police he was “exempt” from wearing a mask after being confronted by an officer, but added he couldn’t prove that. He did not say why he is exempt from wearing a mask, though current U.K. guidelines detail several scenarios where people don’t need to wear one, including an “elite sports person, professional dancer or referee acting in the course of ... employment.”
Till said he became agitated after the officer followed him and insinuated he might be arrested or fined.
“Even though in my mind I was in the right, I lost my temper with that officer, because he was searching and fishing for something. He’s obstructing me, obstructing my night. ... He was just clutching at straws. He had nothing, because I was doing nothing.”