Till, aged 24, becomes the first British Mixed Martial Artist to sign a management contract with MTK. He joins an ever-growing stable of fighters that includes Tyson Fury, Carl Frampton, Billy Joe Saunders, Liam Smith and Michael Conlan.
Born and raised in Liverpool, Till began training in Muay Thai at an early age and became the European K-1 kickboxing champion while still a teen. He moved to Brazil in late 2012 where he spent three and a half years learning from some of the best in the spiritual home of modern MMA. Racing to 12-0 in just two years, it was no surprise that Dana White and the UFC came calling in 2015.
‘The Gorilla’, as he is known by his legions of fans, has never lost a fight as an amateur or a professional and currently boasts a 16-0-1 record.
His destruction of Octagon veteran Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone inside a round in October of this year was hailed as a break-through performance and pushed Till to number 7 in the UFC’s 170lb welterweight rankings.
Now a part of any conversation concerning the upper echelons of that division, Till is convinced that MTK are the right people to guide him through the next stage of his career.
“I couldn’t be happier to have MTK Global manage me,” says the Liverpudlian. “Of course I’ve seen them sign up all these boxing superstars in recent years and I always thought it would be nice to be a part of that, albeit as an MMA fighter.”
“I’m good pals with Liam Smith and he is always telling me how good MTK look after their fighters and how they help them get the most out of their careers. Beefy fought Canelo in an American Football stadium in front of 50,000 so I know he’s not kidding me!”
Till believes he is not far off such glory nights as he looks at the few welterweights currently above him in the rankings.
“I’m in this sport to be the champion. I want to be a great champion and go down in history for it. Right now there are some big names out there for me. The likes of Demian Maia, Rafael dos Anjos, Robbie Lawler and Wonderboy [Stephen Thompson]. I don’t really care who the UFC put in front of me but ultimately I want that belt off Tyron Woodley.”
“Beyond that, there’s another fella I’d love to get inside the Octagon with. An Irish boy called McGregor who talks a lot. If Conor is ever stupid enough to come back up to 170, I’ll be waiting and only too happy to shut him up once and for all.”
Till’s mentor and life-long coach Colin Heron is just as pleased as his star pupil that MTK Global are now at the helm.
“I only want the best for Darren and his career. We have a special bond. I was the one who told him to go to Brazil and learn his trade when he was transitioning from Muay Thai to MMA, so I know he trusts my judgment and listens to my advice. I spoke to MTK personally and it didn’t take me long to realise that, like myself, they only have a fighter’s best interests at heart. I told Darren he couldn’t be in better hands from a management standpoint.”
MTK Global Co-Founder and Advisor Matthew Macklin shares Till and Heron’s enthusiasm.
“This is absolutely massive for us. The whole world of MMA and the UFC in particular has grown so quickly over the past decade or so and we felt it was time MTK Global got involved. We wanted to make a statement and there is no doubt we have done that by signing Darren.”
“He is the hottest prospect at 170lbs right now and we are just looking forward to helping him push on and fulfil his incredible potential. 2018 will be a huge year for the Gorilla.”