“We are not here to take part, we are here to take over!”
Dublin, July 19th, 2014, a new era within MMA was ushered in. Ireland welcomed the UFC in only their 2nd event in the company’s history, spearheaded by the charismatic Conor McGregor.
Nothing would ever be the same again.
Flash forward to present day and the announcement that Liverpool’s Echo Arena will host their first ever UFC event on May 27th.
This time, headlined by a new charismatic fighter on the precipice of superstardom, Darren Till.
The parallels between Till and McGregor is there to see; both have taken their early opportunities and ran with it.
Both men have taken to the limelight and are naturals whether it be for the camera or crowd. In addition, both have demanded their hometowns are giving the spotlight to hold raucous sporting events that will capture the hearts and minds of their fans.
The MMA world in 2014 is eerily similar to the MMA world in 2018. The need for a new breed of a fighter who can garner the interest of the ‘hardcore’ but can also gain mainstream attention is massively apparent.
Put simply, Darren Till is on the trajectory to become the next big European MMA star and has all the qualities to make himself as big a crossover star in the same breath as the aforementioned Irishman.
“Get ready Liverpool, we are coming for you”
The UFC’s arrival in Liverpool will have the same impact as their 2nd outing in Dublin – however, the following things MUST happen…the card needs packed top to bottom with local talent and current ‘scousers’ – the likes of Paddy Pimblet, Tim Barnett, ‘Meatball’ Molly along with Danny Roberts surely must now be in contention? Throw in others including Dean Garnett and the UFC has an action-packed card on their hands.
In the main event, the key is to find the right opponent which makes sense for Darren Till’s style along with bringing an entertainment value for the rabid fans.
On Friday night during the Q&A session, Dan Hardy indicated the plan was to ensure a top 10 ranked opponent will be matched with Till.
Are the likes of Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, Colby Covington or even Kamaru Usman truly ready to throw themselves into the cauldron of the Echo Arena?
Yes, the trio have faced larger crowds, but make no mistake this atmosphere will be unlike anything they have ever witnessed.
“When I come out to those drums of Phil Collins, you’re going to know that I’m the ******* man.”
During last night’s interview on the London card, Darren Till unleashed a promo which showcased his steely intent, along with his cool, calm and assured swagger.
Attire aside (maybe it is time to get in touch with Conor’s tailor?!), Till’s realness is his number one quality. He tells it as it is, without needing the hyperbole or the nods to a Ric Flair promo.
Till now has the opportunity to shake off the obvious comparisons drawn with ‘The Notorious One’ and set his own path for superstardom.
If he is able to get another signature win on Sunday 27th May, he will truly arrive on the global scene and the quest for UFC Gold will begin in earnest
I cannot wait to see where his career takes him.