By: Steven Marrocco |
March 15, 2019 4:15 pm
LONDON – Ben Askren might get a double bird, but a fight, he’ll have to wait in line.
That’s the word coming from onetime UFC welterweight title challenger Darren Till (17-1-1 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC), who addressed Askren (19-0 MMA, 1-0 UFC) after rushing the stage to flash the outspoken former champ an obscene gesture.
Appearing on the ESPN+ weigh-in show for his headliner opposite Jorge Masvidal (32-13 MMA, 9-6 UFC) on Saturday at The O2, Till didn’t dismiss a fight with Askren. But he said now’s not the time.
“Askren’s fight comes,” he said. “But Askren’s been in the UFC five minutes. It’s not about what he wants. It’s about what I want.
“I’m here. I’m No. 3. Seven fights, four main events. I call the shots, not Ben. And the champ will be calling the shots.”
Askren picked Till to best Masvidal at UFC on ESPN+ 5 and said top welterweights in the division are trying to avoid him. He and Till have gone back and forth on social media over the past two months.
Till, though, is looking up. He said current title holder Kamaru Usman is a more focused champ than the deposed Tyron Woodley, whom he said “has got a finger in a couple of pies” and added “his focus isn’t fully there.” He doubts a title fight between Usman and ex-interim champ Colby Covington, leaving him in prime position to capitalize.
Usman and Till already have exchanged barbs on social media, though their bad blood runs nowhere near as deep as Usman opposite Covington. If “Chaos” doesn’t take the fight, however, Till said it’s only logical to put him in.
“I know the champ wants to fight me,” Till said. “I’ve spoken about it with him face-to-face. So all goes well for me on Saurday, I’m praying, and then I’m campaigning for that title shot.”
Till loves the matchup with Masvidal, a seasoned competitor who’s felled welterweight standouts like Donald Cerrone and Jake Ellenberger. But the U.K. standout said there’s not a man alive right now that can beat him.
“I’m just the more intelligent, violent man,” he said.