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Robert Whittaker to Darren Till: ‘I have no friends in the middleweight division’

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Robert Whittaker might be on friendly terms with Darren Till on social media, but in the real world it’s a different story.

UFC 243 Whittaker v Adesanya Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Message to Darren Till: Playtime is over.

Robert Whittaker and Darren Till might have had their fun on social media during lockdown, but ‘The Reaper’ wants ‘The Gorilla’ to know ahead of their headlining bout at UFC Fight Night 174 that he has no friends in the middleweight division.

“Darren Till was never my friend.”

“Honestly, it’s the same as it’s always been,” Whittaker told Submission Radio in a recent interview. “It’s cool how it’s a different approach, but I’m not really thinking about whether Darren’s a cool guy or not. Before the fight was lined up, it was cool to just josh back and forth, have a bit of a laugh at it, and try to make some interest for the fight, but once we kinda knew we were fighting, I don’t really care what sort of person he is. It’s one of those things where all I’m focusing on now is crushing him.

“For one, let me just say, I have no friends in the middleweight division. (Laughs). I can’t be friends with anybody I could be fighting, so let’s just clear that up. And two, mate, we’re in the fight game. It’s cool to be lined up with a guy that isn’t acting like a Gronk, but at the end of the day, he’s coming to take what’s mine and I’m coming to take what’s his. That’s the game we’re in. That’s the fight game, that’s the fight world.”

“The thing is, we’re just cool. We’re cool. He’s doing his thing, I’m doing mine. We have a bit of fun but we’re both respectful. Don’t get us wrong though, the weeks are getting closer and our sights are set on each other’s faces. It’s war time. I’m ready for the fight of my life and I’m gonna bring the fight of his life.”

A win over Till could set Whittaker up for a rematch with current UFC middleweight champ Israel Adesanya but, as of right now, the former titleholder is focused solely on what’s in front of him.

“I haven’t even thought about it,” Whittaker said. “Honestly, I haven’t even thought about it. I’m just enjoying the ride. Like I said, I’m just a ranker now. I’m in there, I’m looking to fight Darren Till, beat him, and worry about the next step after.”

UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Till is scheduled to take place next month, July 25 at the UFC Fight Island facility on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.