A quarantine rivalry that started on a lark for Darren Till has become very serious for Mike Perry.
After outpointing Mickey Gall at UFC on ESPN 12, Perry welcomed a move up to middleweight to fight the U.K. star. But the way he put it, he might not even wait until the step into the octagon.
“Man, 170 is such a great place for me, but I want to fight Darren Till,” Perry told reporters at UFC APEX, which hosted Saturday’s ESPN-televised event in Las Vegas. “I do want to fight that guy.
“If I see him in person, I’m going to fight him. Nobody’s going to stop me. I’m going to grab him. I’m going to stick my finger is in his eye, and I’m going to get ahold of him. I’ll say it out loud because I don’t care.”
Perry and Till have actually traded fists already. After appearing to set up a fight in 2017 after Till’s victory over Donald Cerrone, the two got in a few rounds of sparring at a hotel. The exchange appeared to squash the beef, though both fighters vowed not to take it easy on each other if they one day met in the cage.
Then 2020 arrived, and the coronavirus pandemic apparently washed away whatever goodwill was earned through Till and Perry’s previous meeting.
Till said he started poking at Perry to have a laugh and pass the time. He said he thought Perry was on the same page and things weren’t personal, even when he described a sex act on Perry’s girlfriend. But then the American raged back online and blocked him on social media. Never one to pass up a good opportunity, he continued to tease Perry, even going so far as to create a joke website.
After needling Perry constantly, Till offered an olive branch with tongue firmly inserted in cheek.
Perry hasn’t forgotten about that, and he’s willing to give up weight to make Till eat his words. He might have to wait a while, though, as the Brit is scheduled to meet ex-champ Robert Whittaker on a “Fight Island” event scheduled for July 25. That should give Perry plenty of time to train with Till’s nightmare: perennial middleweight contender Yoel Romero.
“I want to go to South Florida and work with Yoel and feel that 185-pound weight class,” he said.