Current UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya has decided to play matchmaker himself for his next defence of the 185-pound title, claiming that if former welterweight title challenger, Darren Till can get past the streaking soon to be common-foe, Marvin Vettori at UFC on ABC 2 on April 10th. — he’s earned himself a title shot.
Slated to return to his middleweight stomping-ground for his next outing, Adesanya dropped his first professional defeat in the main event of UFC 259 earlier this month, suffering a unanimous decision loss to light heavyweight kingpin, Jan Blachowicz in his attempt to become a two-weight champion held simultaneously.
Having already dispatched former champion, Robert Whittaker, the Auckland-born favourite’s originally scheduled opponent, Paulo Costa, as well as short-notice replacement, Kelvin Gastelum — the Nigerian-Kiwi is now looking toward the above mentioned, Till if the Liverpudlian can overcome Italian contender, Vettori on April 10th.
“Definitely (gets a title shot) if he (Darren Till) wins, (he) gets a title shot,” Adesanya said during a recent interview with ESPN MMA reporter, Ariel Helwani. “‘Scouser’ is number one on my list. But do your job Till, you bum.“
Entering the headlining clash with Trento standout, Vettori, Team Kaobon mainstay, Till hopes to rebound to winning ways following a UFC Fight Island 3 unanimous decision loss to the above mentioned, Whittaker last July. The loss came as Till’s third in his last four outings, with his sole win in that period coming in a split decision win over the previously noted, Gastelum in a close UFC 244 co-main event at Madison Square Garden back in November of 2019.
Till currently sits at #4 in the official middleweight pile, and features a week prior to Whittaker’s rescheduled clash with former interim title chaser, Kings MMA staple, Gastelum.
Poised striker, Adesanya has already scored two successful defences of the middleweight championship since assuming the undisputed throne back in October of 2019 against Whittaker in Melbourne, Australia — taking a forgettable unanimous judging win over Yoel Romero, before headlining UFC 253 last September also on ‘Fight Island, stopping the then-undefeated, Costa with a second round knockout.