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Daniel Kinahan pal Darren Till dropped by UFC after losing last three fights

In March 2020, he shared a photograph on Twitter and launched a staunch defence of his 'friend' Kinahan

Darren Till (left) with Kinahan in Dubai

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Liverpool MMA star Darren Till, who was one of Daniel Kinahan’s biggest cheerleaders has quit the UFC after losing his last three fights.

The middleweight MMA fighter who has previously hit the headlines after he was snapped with the exiled crime boss in Dubai, has won just one fight in five years and now plans to take a break from the cage to pursue other opportunities

"Me, Dana [White] and Hunter [Campbell] are still cool as f***," he tweeted. "I asked UFC to remove me just to sort some other s*** for the foreseeable. They happily agreed to release me out of contract which I appreciate. I’m not going anywhere, got big plans to execute and I’ll be back."

Till, who had earned a title shot against then champion Tyron Woodley in 2018 following a four-fight win streak, was choked out in the second round.

A homecoming main event clash with Jorge Masvidal the following year stunned the O2 Arena into silence when the American secured a heavy knockout, with Till out cold on the mat.

Till manged to outpoint Kelvin Gastelum as he moved up to middleweight but was then on the wrong end of a decision against Robert Whittaker. The Liverpudlian then suffered successive submission defeats by Derek Brunson and Dricus du Plessis.

Following his bout with Du Plessis, Till insisted that he will not be retiring but that he intends on re-evaluating his career going forward.

He said: “You don't always get what you want in this life, it's tough. I'm 29 now, I've been at the top of this sport since 2017 I entered the UFC in 2015.

“I'm doing this video because I feel like I should do it now, the right time is now. I'm not retiring this is not a retirement speech. I'm 29, that'd be stupid to retire but I'm on a bit of a losing skid at the moment.”

In December 2021 Till and gang boss Kinahan were pictured enjoying a late night stroll together on a beach in Dubai.

It was the second time Till - who was represented by Kinahan’s now defunct MTK Global - posted images of Kinahan on his social media accounts.

In March 2020, he shared a photograph on Twitter and launched a staunch defence of his 'friend' Kinahan saying "he had given me more valuable advice as a friend anyone I’ve ever met in a professional capacity”.

In the December post UFC fighter Till - who has no involvement in crime - described how Kinahan was still involved in boxing from his home in the Middle East.

Till wrote: "Good stroll on the beach tonight in Dubai with one of me good pals, Daniel Kinahan is advising Eddie Hearn & Al Haymon is advising Leonard ellerbe for Eddie Hearn & Leonard Ellerbe to fight. Wow!!

"Good luck Eddie I’m rooting for u son."

At the time Kinahan, who is now the subject of sanctions by the US Treasury with a $5 million bounty on his head, appeared in a series of photos with several boxers and other leading figures within the sport from his bolthole in Dubai.

However, his attempts at reinventing himself as a top sports promoter were widely seen as a cynical effort to ‘sports wash’ his reputation in a bid to distance himself from his involvement in organised crime.

In January of this year, Till expressed his admiration for Andrew Tate, the self-described misogynist, who is facing charges of organised crime, human trafficking and rape.

Till told how Tate had even inspired his UFC walk on music for his last fight with Du Plessis in December 2022.

The song Tourner Dans Le Vide by French artist Indila was the same music used in viral internet videos of Tate.

Speaking to Basketball Insiders, Till revealed that it wasn't a coincidence he chose that Octagon walk music.

“I know he’s very controversial,” he said of Tate. ‘But I don’t think he’s a bad person and that theme tune for me is just sick.

“When I’ve seen some of the viral videos I’ve just thought yeah that’s a bit of me. I’m a fan of his but not of all his views and that’s just the way the world works.”

Referring to Tate's recent arrest in Romania, Till insisted that he was “innocent until proven guilty”.

“I think your average person is getting more familiar with how the world works thanks to social media,” he declared.

“But as the phrase goes you’re innocent until proven guilty aren’t you? I’ve been thinking about giving my opinion on Twitter but I’ve got half a million followers.

“As soon as I give my opinion you never know what the reaction might be so I’ve stepped back. If he is guilty then obviously that’s not good but equally he might be innocent.”

Till also said he believes it’s the end for Conor McGregor who he acknowledged is still the biggest name in the sport

“I think Conor has been there and done it, made his money and now he’s happy. I’m sure he probably wants to come back but deep down he knows life’s different now. I think it’s probably the end for Conor but he’s still the biggest name in the sport.”

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