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UFC welterweight Darren Till has a lot of people to prove wrong.

Till (15-0-1 MMA, 3-0-1 UFC) is on the verge of the biggest fight of his UFC career and already he’s on the defensive. Although he professes not to care what social media says about his UFC Fight Night 118 headliner against Donald Cerrone (32-9 MMA, 19-6 UFC), Till is awfully fired up at those who question it.

“You’ve got people like Brendan Schaub … saying he doesn’t know me, he’s disrespecting me and whatever, saying ‘Cowboy’ shouldn’t be taking this fight, but why shouldn’t I be taking the fight? Let’s get it straight, I’m unbeaten here,” Till said on the “Obviously Fight Talk” podcast. “I’m unbeaten. Nobody’s been able to beat me.

“So what do I do? Do I just stay on the prelims, do I? Fighting no one. Can’t I move up? Is this what the world’s come to? I can’t move up? I can’t fight these big guys? Is this what it is? A big gap? I’ll (expletive) show them what’s going to be a big gap on fight night when I crack him on the chin.”

Schaub, a former UFC heavyweight and co-host of “The Fighter and the Kid” podcast, indicated Cerrone should be a bit more selective about matchups, taking on marquee fighters to rebuild toward a title shot. Cerrone, one of the most active combatants the UFC has ever seen, has lost two straight fights at welterweight, where he hoped to win a title after falling short on multiple occasions at lightweight.

Schaub might not have meant to disrespect Till, who’s 3-0-1 in the octagon and recently outpointed Bojan Velickovic in an impressive performance. Till took it that way nonetheless.

“They can say what they want,” Till said. “At the end of the day, if ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone came into Muay Thai we’d consider him an amateur. So what does that say? He wouldn’t be considered no top-level striker in Muay Thai, let me tell you that right now. So what’s the difference? He’s a lightweight.

“I just don’t see how he’s going to take me down. He is a black belt, a respected black belt, but I don’t see him tapping me. And, you know, on the feet I just don’t see what he’s going to do to me. I don’t see where he can bother me. I just don’t see it.”

Before he entered the UFC, Cerrone was, in fact, a professional kickboxer. Although accurate records are almost impossible to come by, his advertised kickboxing record was 28-0-1. He also won titles as an amateur and professional.

When he transitioned to MMA, Cerrone showed he was not just a striker. His first seven wins were either the result of armbars or triangle chokes. But Till wouldn’t be the first to underestimate his opponent, no matter how many times Cerrone has snuck in a fight-ending punch, kick, or submission.

“There’s no disrespect between me and Donald,” he said. “I just want to beat him up. I just want to batter him. That’s what I want to do, and he wants to do the same to me. But just because he doesn’t know me I’m going to get all disrespectful?

“Listen, I don’t care what people say, I don’t care about social media. None of that gets to me. I do look at it, and I do laugh. I just don’t give a (expletive) what anyone says. I really don’t.”

It certainly sounds like the opposite. But leave Till to prove none of that matters when they step into the cage.

“I’ll be going in to take his chin clean off. So, you know, let these people talk, let Brendan Schaub go on his podcast and talk,” Till said. “Hasn’t he got better things to talk about? He should be worrying about the (expletive) 10 knockouts he’s had in his career.”

For more on UFC Fight Night 118, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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