To regain his confidence, Anthony Smith says Darren Till should consider a step down in competition for his next UFC appearance.
Till suffered a third-round submission loss to Dricus Du Plessis in his return to the Octagon at UFC 282 this past Saturday. It was the third consecutive loss for the ‘Gorilla,’ who fell short against Derek Brunson and Robert Whittaker at UFC Vegas 36 and UFC Fight Island 3, respectively. Now 1-5 in his past six appearances at welterweight and middleweight, it appears as though Till faces a career crossroads.
In his post-fight comments, Till ruled out retirement, saying that he wants to fight next year. And if he does, Smith wants him against someone outside of the official UFC rankings.
“What does he do now? He’s got to, and he’s not gonna want to, but he’s gonna have to back way up, and he’s gonna have to give someone way down in the rankings an opportunity,” said Smith on the Believe You Me podcast. “Which he doesn’t want to do. He doesn’t want to do that because he wants to continue to climb, he wants to swing for the fences and get his spot back and look ahead.
“But I think the best case scenario for him is to drop way down and give one of these up-and-comers, these young guys, these unknowns, give them an opportunity to face a big-name guy that holds a decent spot in the rankings and hope that you can use that step down in competition as an opportunity to get your mojo back. The flip side of that is you drop one to one of those guys, you’ve got a big f—ing problem.”
Though Till is on a three-fight losing streak, UFC president Dana White believes his stock stayed the same, especially since he was involved in a ‘Fight of the Night’ awarded appearance against Du Plessis.
“I mean, that’s ‘Fight of the Night,’ I don’t think his stock drops at all,” said White at the post-fight press conference For UFC 282. “If he would have went out there and got destroyed in the first round like it looked like it was gonna happen, but he did the exact opposite. He weathered that storm, stayed out of submissions, then he comes back, and you think he’s gonna win the fight. I thought it was an awesome fight. That’s why it was ‘Fight of the Night,’ and I don’t think his stock dropped at all.”
Till is still ranked in the top-15; however, he fell from No. 10 to No. 15 following a recent update.
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