Michael Bisping thinks Darren Till has what it takes to become the UFC middleweight champion.
British-born fighter Till, 28, was left frustrated after he was forced to withdraw from his middleweight clash with Marvin Vettori after breaking his collarbone just days before they were due to fight at UFC Vegas 23 on April 10.
The Liverpool fan favourite has not fought since losing a unanimous decision to Robert Whittaker last July in Abu Dhabi.
After losing three of his last four fights, Till (18-3-1) now faces a long road back to a world title shot, with a murderers’ row of contenders in front of him in the middleweight division.
But Bisping has given his fellow Brit his full backing and tipped him for great things.
“I definitely see him being the champion at some point,” Bisping said to the Liverpool ECHO. “He’s only 27-years-old and he’s getting better and better.
“It took me a while, he’s had a fast rise. Not too fast because that fight with Robert Whittaker was razor thin, a super super close fight, it came down to one takedown in the fifth I reckon. And we know how good Whittaker is.
“Darren is only 27 and I firmly believe that in the future he will raise the gold. He will be the next champ for sure.
“Liverpool has always been a strong fighting city, you guys are leading the way in terms of British talent right now.
“Liverpool has always produced great fighting challenge and Darren Till is the next man for the job.”
Till announced himself as the poster boy for the British MMA scene after starching Wendell de Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 67 on his debut in May 2015.
Under the guidance of head coach Colin Heron, ‘The Gorilla’ has won 60 percent (six out of 10) of his bouts inside the Octagon since 2015. Among his victories includes impressive performances against Donald Cerrone, Kelvin Gastelum and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson.
If Till does indeed follow in Bisping’s footsteps, he will become only the second ever British UFC champion in the history of the organisation.
However, in doing so he will face some of the toughest challenges of his career to date, but if he does indeed become the second champ to come from these shores, there’s no doubt he will have earned his place among the ranks of the sport’s most elite fighters.