Ahead of their pivotal middleweight clash this weekend, Darren Till has explained why he thinks Robert Whittaker is not ‘even close to his level.’
Till (18-2-1) will compete in just his second fight at 185-pounds this weekend against Whittaker in the main event of UFC Fight Island 3. The Liverpudlian made the move up from welterweight after consecutive losses when he faced Kelvin Gastelum last November, winning a unanimous decision at UFC 244.
Talking at the UFC on ESPN 14 media day, Till said whilst Whittaker might edge him in terms of wrestling, the former champion’s striking is not comparable to his.
“I think Rob is potentially, probably more of a seasoned wrestler, a little bit better in that department,” Till said. “Jiu-jitsu wise, I don’t know. Striking wise he ain’t even close to [my] level, but I’m saying that and he could come in and show me something new and, ‘boom, boom,’ and that’s how it is.”
Whittaker (20-5) has picked up four stoppage finishes since moving up to middleweight in 2014, and “The Reaper” thinks his striking skillset is a lot more diverse than Till’s.
“His biggest threat is his left hand and he knows that as well,” Whittaker said. “That’s where I think I match up so much better against him than he does with me because my biggest threat is too many of them. I have so many dangerous shots, I’m so creative. I have so many angles I can exploit. He’s got his left hand. That’s all he’s got. Everything else I got covered.”
According to Till a win against Whittaker will warrant nothing else other than a middleweight title fight next.