Darren Till admits he took his 2019 fight with Jorge Masvidal lightly and it has cost him, but is looking to make amends with a Floyd Mayweather-esque performance against Robert Whittaker on Saturday night.
The Gorilla was brutally knocked out by Masvidal in March last year in London, leaving him with back-to-back defeats after a submission loss to Tyron Woodley in his previous fight.
The Scouser hadn’t lost in 18 professional fights before that Woodley loss and despite the defeat, he feels he was taking Masvidal lightly and failed to stick to the plan he had worked out with his coaches.
He regrets how he fought in London that night, but feels it will make him a better martial artist going forward.
‘If only I had done it (stuck to the plan) against Masvidal, I would probably be on the cover of EA Sports right now,’ said Till.
‘You can’t fight every fight [with] perfection, and it’s not like that. The fight game is certainly not like that, especially in MMA.
‘That’s why it doesn’t matter who you’re fighting, they could have a big belly, you can never underestimate or overlook any fighter.
‘I sort of overlooked Masvidal a bit because he was a bit tinier. I beat Stephen Thompson, and Stephen Thompson beat him comfortably.
‘Maybe I did. Maybe on my part I did [underestimate him], but you live and you learn.’
The plan against former middleweight champion Whittaker will be to fight sensibly and avoid the intelligent striking of the Australian.
The 27-year-old has little interest in going to war with the Reaper, and has named two UFC fighters known for violent fights, who he would rather not replicate, instead, aiming to produce an MMA performance akin to a Floyd Mayweather boxing match.
‘No disrespect, but when you look at guys like Justin Gaethje and I look at Max Holloway now, and sometimes I seem glimpses of them slurring a little bit cause of the wars they’ve been in,’ continued Till. ‘All respect to the wars, but it ain’t a smart choice when you’re fighting.
‘You want to sort of look in the direction of someone like Floyd Mayweather. Someone like that.
‘He’s 40-plus [years old], whatever he is now, and he’s got all his brain cells because he hardly got hit.’
Till and Whittaker meet in Abu Dhabi on Saturday night as they headline the card on Fight Island.
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