If you ask Darren Till, he’ll tell you that Tyson Fury isn’t just playing around when it comes to MMA chatter.
The heavyweight boxing star has recently been branching out from the sport in which he’s won multiple titles, making several high-profile appearances for the WWE and also teasing a possible move to the cage. Earlier this month, video was released of Fury training with Till at the UFC middleweight’s Team Kaoban gym in Liverpool, England.
Fury and Till are both managed by MTK Global, which makes Till uniquely positioned to take part in helping Fury transition from boxing to MMA should the “Gypsy King” decide to do so. In a recent interview with BT Sport, Till talked about what it was like to work with Fury and whether he expects Fury to actually book an MMA bout in the future.
“Very big man. So big, shockingly,” Till said, describing his first impressions of Fury. “I’ve seen him before out and about, but even the posture when he’s in there, when he was in the Octagon with me, there’s a ring next door but—It was good. I had a terrific chat with him after we trained. I thought to myself, he’s going to come now, he’s going to learn a few techniques and that’s it. He said to me when we were starting, ‘I’ve come to train, you know?’
“I’m like, ‘What do you mean?’
“‘I’ve come to train hard.’
“I’m like, ‘Okay, let’s crack on.’ And I’d just fought. I told him he’s come to train, he’s gonna get some training. You’ve all seen the video of him cracking pads. I’m not a bad pad man, but obviously I went to coach Colin [Heron], I said, ‘What should I do?’ And Col was just like, ‘Get out of my face.’ But Col said, ‘Give him a proper training session. Make sure he knows.’”
“I said ‘Tyson, I’m gonna teach you about what I think you need for MMA. If you’re considering this, I’ll teach you what I think you need.’”
Till said the training session was composed of warmups, as well as sparring and pads, with footage from the session later making the rounds on social media. As impressed as he was with Fury’s physical capabilities, Till was just as encouraged by the chat that he and Fury had afterwards.
Fury has a documented history of mental health issues and Till himself recently spoke about the toll that the fight game can take on one’s psyche, so it was important to hear that Fury had his mind right.
“We done a hard hour, I swear we done a hard hour,” Till said. “And after, he was chatting to me about the mental side of things, what he went through, and stuff like that. I swear that guy’s got a rock solid mentality. Like, an unbelievable mentality.”
A matchup with UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic has already been brought up, though Fury sounds like he is more inclined to welcome Miocic to boxing as opposed to challenging Miocic inside the Octagon. A boxing match would presumably be more lucrative and Till sees the pay gap between the upper echelons of boxing and the upper echelons of MMA as playing a major factor in whether Fury actually makes the move to MMA.
“I think it’s about a 70-30. 70 yes, 30 no,” Till said. “We’ve got to remember boxing to MMA is very different as well. A lot of things, especially pay. He’s in WWE, he’s making a lot of money. He’s a top-3 heavyweight.
“I’d love to see it, I’d love to see it for the entertainment factor. He’d probably do well, whoever he gets, I don’t know. Maybe Stipe wants to fight, probably thinks that he could box him. I don’t think so, but I hope so. Maybe I’ll be on a little percentage of that, as Coach Till, get a contract in place.”