Darren Till: Tyron Woodley didn't show up to fight Kamaru Usman like he did against me

LONDON – As far as Darren Till is concerned, the difference between Tyron Woodley’s fight with him as opposed to his fight with Kamaru Usman might as well be night and day.

“To me, and this is no disrespect to Usman in no way: I actually sent Usman a message after the fight congratulating him and saying I can’t wait to fight,” Till told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “I know Usman was chasing me a while back, but now it’s obviously me chasing him. But it just didn’t seem to me like the Woodley team turned up to fight like they did (against) me.”

As a result, Woodley lost the welterweight title to Usman earlier this month at UFC 235 after being dominated for 25 minutes. Usman all but had his way with Woodley in the grappling and ground-and-pound departments, en route to a clean-sweep unanimous decision.

It was drastic change from Woodley’s previous fight last September at UFC 228, when the then-champion put on a stellar performance before submitting Till in the second round. The way Till sees it, the difference was Woodley’s mental approach from fighting him to fighting Usman.

“I know when he was fighting me, he was scared,” Till said. “When you’re fighting a guy like me, you have to be scared. You know what I bring to the table. And he said that openly. I could feel fear, but that fear drove him on. He was so powerful and quick and aggressive.

“As much as Usman looked so, so good in there like a top-level fighter, Woodley just didn’t seem like the same Woodley as we’ve seen previously. And he’ll still go down as one of the best ever. He just didn’t seem like the guy we knew. And that’s not to take anything away from Usman. He perfected that strategy. But it was a weird fight.”

Till on Saturday will attempt to rebound from his title-fight loss when he meets Jorge Masvidal in the UFC on ESPN+ 5 headliner at The O2. Till made it clear that his loss to Woodley is one he might never get over.

“If you said to me, ‘What would you prefer: title shot or a rematch?’ I’d want the rematch,” Till said. “I just want to avenge that one loss and prove I’m better than him.”

To hear more from Till, watch the video above.

For more on UFC on ESPN+ 5, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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