Darren Till admits his mindset is different from others.
That sentiment rang true when the native of Liverpool, England told media members at UFC 227 that becoming an all-time great meant more to him than becoming rich and famous. Till’s mindset hasn’t changed as he heads into the biggest fight of his career on Saturday, when he challenges welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in the main event of Saturday’s UFC 228.
“With greatness comes everything else,” Till told to Sporting News. “Don’t worry about the money. Don’t worry about all the other bulls—. Worry about being the best. If you are one of the best fighters in the world in the UFC and you are fighting for world titles and main eventing pay-per-views, the money is there.
“I don’t even give a f— how much money I’m getting for this fight with Tyron. I don’t care if I’m getting a cut of the pay-per-view. All of these fights I’m having is getting me one step closer to where I want to be. With that comes money and all the advantages that come with it. Right now, I’m not really hurting for money. I spend it quicker than I want but I still have enough of it.”
The first thought for most fighters is making the most money possible to ensure financial security for not only them, but their families. Winning championships and being known for greatness is typically a distant second.
Till admits he enjoys the fruits of his labor, but will always remember where he came from regardless of how much money he has in the bank.
“My mentality on it has always been the same,” Till said. “That mentality has been with me since I was a little kid. I’m a guy who does like the finer things in life. I do like to drive a nice car and to eat nice food. I’m more about nice clothes. It hasn’t been a part of me when I thought of if I don’t make it in fighting, what else am I going to do, because I wouldn’t be able to pay for this or that?
“For years, I lived from house to house and lived in the gym. I’ve lived everywhere. I’m just not that guy who thinks about the financial future. I just think about the present.”
Following his victory over Stephen Thompson his last bout, Till said he shouldn’t get to face Woodley next because he missed weight by 3 1/2 pounds. After interim champion Colby Covington’s surgery sidelined him, the UFC called Till and told him he was going to get what he was looking for.
“I came out and spoke the truth and said that I didn’t deserve a title shot,” Till said. “The UFC recognized that I am a real person speaking from the heart and I don’t care what I say. I love to fight and I don’t care in what division. Colby lost his balls and I was next in line for the fight.
“I’m just ready to fight. I’m sick of training and eating chicken and avocado. I’ve trained all my life for this life for this. I can’t wait to fight Tyron Woodley, beat his brains in and walk out of the Octagon the welterweight champion.”