Darren Jake Till (born 24 December 1992) is an English professional mixed martial artist and former Muay Thai fighter. He competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he fought in both the welterweight and middleweight divisions, and challenged for the UFC Welterweight Championship in September 2018.
Till was born in Liverpool, where he would frequently get into altercations. He began training in Muay Thai at the age of 12. He dropped out of high school at the age of 14 to focus on the sport, turning professional a year later and beginning to train in MMA with Team Kaobon at the age of 17. During his teenage years, he would live in different places such as his gym and relatives' houses after an incident he had with his mother which got him kicked out of the family home. In August 2012, he was stabbed twice in the back after confronting a large group of men at a party. The knife missed his main artery by 1 mm, with doctors calling him lucky to be alive.
Following the incident, Till's coach Colin Heron advised him to move to Brazil to train with a former Team Kaobon coach to avoid troubles in his hometown. He subsequently joined Astra Fight Team in Balneário Camboriú, despite being unable to speak Portuguese and with minimal knowledge of grappling. While he planned to spend six months in South America, he stayed for three and a half years and welcomed a daughter with his girlfriend in Brazil. In late 2016, he returned to England to be reunited with Heron at Team Kaobon. His daughter and then-girlfriend remained in Brazil; in 2018, he revealed he had not seen his daughter for over a year.
Till spent most of his early MMA career in Brazil under the guidance of Astra Fight Team. He went 3–0 as an amateur in England before making the move to South America, and turned professional in February 2013. Till had 11 fights in Brazil and one in Argentina prior to joining the UFC, with just two going to a decision. In 2013, he fought eight times as a middleweight before competing at welterweight in late 2014.
Replacing injured TJ Waldburger, Till faced Brazilian Wendell de Oliveira Marques in his UFC debut on nine days' notice at UFC Fight Night 67 on 30 May 2015. He knocked out Oliveira and secured his first UFC win.
Till next faced Nicolas Dalby on 24 October 2015 at UFC Fight Night 76. After a back and forth fight, the bout was scored a majority draw. Both participants were awarded the Fight of the Night bonus.
After a significant shoulder injury and various personal issues kept him out of action for an extended period of time, Till returned to face Jessin Ayari on 28 May 2017 at UFC Fight Night 109. He missed the non-title Welterweight limit of 171 pounds by 5 pounds, and had to give 20 percent of his fight earnings to his opponent. Till won the fight via unanimous decision.
On 1 August 2017, Till announced that he had signed a new, five-fight deal with the UFC.
Till faced Bojan Veličković on 2 September 2017 at UFC Fight Night 115. Till won the fight via unanimous decision.
Till faced Donald Cerrone on 21 October 2017 at UFC Fight Night 118. He won the fight via TKO in the first round. This win earned him the Performance of the Night bonus award.
Till faced former UFC Welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson at UFC Fight Night 130 on 27 May 2018. At the weigh-ins, Till weighed in at 174.5 pounds, 3.5 pounds over the Welterweight non-title fight limit of 171. After negotiating with Thompson's team, the bout proceeded at a catchweight with the stipulation that Till could not weigh more than 188 pounds on the day of the fight. Till also forfeited 30 percent of his purse to Thompson. Till won the fight via a controversial unanimous decision. 22 of 25 media outlets scored the bout in favor of Thompson.
Till was given the opportunity to face Tyron Woodley on 8 September 2018 at UFC 228, challenging him for the UFC Welterweight Championship. He lost the fight via D'Arce choke submission in the second round. This was Till's first loss in his MMA career.
Despite talks of a potential move up to Middleweight, Till stayed at Welterweight and faced Jorge Masvidal on 16 March 2019 at UFC Fight Night 147. Till lost the fight by knockout in the second round. Both participants were awarded a Fight of the Night bonus award.
On 26 August, it was announced Till was returning to the middleweight division to face Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 244 on 2 November. He won the fight via split decision.
Till faced Robert Whittaker on 26 July 2020 at UFC on ESPN: Whittaker vs. Till. He lost the fight via unanimous decision.
Till was scheduled to face Jack Hermansson on 5 December 2020 at UFC on ESPN 19. However, it was announced on 6 November that Till was forced to withdraw from the bout due to an injury. He was replaced by Kevin Holland, who was later replaced by Marvin Vettori.
Till was scheduled to face Marvin Vettori on 10 April 2021, at UFC on ABC 2. On the week before the fight, Till was forced to pull out from the match due to a broken collarbone, and he was replaced by Kevin Holland.
Till faced Derek Brunson on 4 September 2021, at UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Till. He lost the fight via rear-naked choke submission in round three.
Till was scheduled to face Jack Hermansson on 23 July 2022, at UFC Fight Night 208. He was replaced by Chris Curtis after being forced to withdraw from the bout due to an undisclosed injury.
Till faced Dricus du Plessis on 10 December 2022, at UFC 282. He lost the fight via submission in round three. This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.
On 28 February 2023, it was revealed that Till was released from the UFC after requesting to be let go to pursue other interests.
Till has three daughters.
On 18 April 2019, Till was arrested in Tenerife after trashing a hotel room when he was asked to leave, and for also stealing a taxi while the driver was loading his luggage into the trunk. Till and four other involved individuals were sentenced for a crime of damage and unauthorised use of a vehicle, and were fined approximately £10,000.
Till was penalized by Swedish police for driving under the influence of alcohol with over three times the legal limit in his system on 31 July 2022.
On 7 June 2023, Till attended a court in Liverpool, pleading not guilty to charges for driving while disqualified, driving without insurance and obstructing a constable in execution of duty. Following the hearing, he was granted bail and set to return to the court on 30 August.
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