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Morning Report: Darren Till draws inspiration from newly-crowned lightweight champion Charles Oliveira

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

On Saturday at UFC 262, Charles Oliveira became the 11th undisputed lightweight champion in UFC history while setting a record for most fights in the promotion before winning a title. It took Oliveira 11 years and 27 fights to finally claim UFC gold and though his dedication and perseverance will undoubtedly serve as inspiration to a generation of young fighters coming up, it is also inspiring to some of the best fighters in the world today, like middleweight contender Darren Till.

This past weekend, Till was watching UFC 262, and speaking to Michael Bisping on the Believe You Me podcast, Till said Oliveira’s win reaffirmed his own belief that he will be a UFC champion one day.

“I take inspiration from a lot of things and you see Charles Oliveira, he just became the lightweight champion after, what, 10 years, 11 years? How many losses? How many wins? How many setbacks? How much being looked over? So that for me is a big factor, knowing that I’m 28, I haven’t been in MMA that long, only a few years and I feel like I’m at me prime in the next year or two.”

That Till has that talent to hoist UFC gold, no one has ever denied, however, the middleweight contender has struggled lately to get any momentum going in his career. After a failed title bid at welterweight against Tyron Woodley, Till was then knocked out by Jorge Masvidal and made the move up to 185, where he won a decision over Kelvin Gastelum. That win looked like it could propel Till to another title run in his new weight class but Till then was soundly defeated by former champion Robert Whittaker.

Till was then supposed to face Marvin Vettori in April but broke his collarbone during training and was forced from the fight. In his absence, Vettori dominated Kevin Holland and will now face middleweight champion Israel Adesanya next month. It’s a bout that could have gone to Till had he beaten Vettori. Alas, it was not meant to be and Till, for his part, is okay with it because he knows that like Oliveira, his title will come in time.

“Let Marvin have his shot. Congrats on getting it and all that,” Till said.

“I’ve sacrificed too much f***ing s*** in my life to get to this point in my life and be like, ‘Yeah man, I’m happy I was a top three UFC fighter.’ A lot of people get to the UFC and they feel like they’ve achieved, ‘Oh, I’m in the UFC.’ I ain’t happy with just being in the UFC... I’ve sacrificed too much f***ing s***. I’ve never had another job. I’ve never done any other s*** in me life. I’ve gone through hell and I’ve got to this point. I’m not prepared in any way, shape, or form to take any steps back. In fact, everyday I feel like I’m more violent to get what I want. In retrospect, I’m not gonna let no one or nothing stop me. I know for a fact in my life I will be a UFC champion. There just ain’t no two ways about it.”

At only 28 years old and with only 10 fights in the UFC, Till is way ahead of the title curve in comparison to Oliveira, and given the current champion’s interest in facing him, Till will always be in the title picture. Now he just needs at least one big win in the division. He’ll get his chance later this year when he faced Derek Brunson in the main event of a UFC Fight Night on Aug. 14.


Hero. UFC champion Charles Oliveira gets hero’s reception in hometown with fire truck ride, giant mural.

Downtime. Jon Jones ‘not sure’ when he will be fighting next, but he’s happy for ‘some downtime’ right now.

Determined. Michael Chandler determined after UFC 262 loss: ‘The scars and bruises remind them you’re still here’.

Boxing. Jake Paul says he’s a free agent, open to working with Dana White to make crossover boxing bouts happen.

APEX. Dana White expects to hold Fight Night events at UFC APEX for remainder of 2021.


The rise of Jack Hermansson.

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Free fights.

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The Co-Main Event. Discussing UFC 262 and the future of the lightweight division.

Jack Slack. Breaking down the key points following UFC 262.



Oh, Tony.



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King of Freshwater Fishing.


Cheyanne Buys (5-2) vs. Gloria de Paula (5-3); UFC Fight Night, July 31.

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Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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