Darren Till’s 2022 return will have to hold off for now.
The former UFC title challenger has suffered an injury and been forced to withdraw from his scheduled middleweight contest against Jack Hermansson. The two were set to meet in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 208 in London on July 23.
The news was confirmed by MMA Junkie on Wednesday following a report from UFC broadcast partner ESPN.
And it appears it didn’t take long for Hermansson to get a replacement opponent. Although not formally announced by the promotion, the UFC’s official website lists Chris Curtis (23-8 MMA, 3-0 UFC) as his new opponent.
Curtis has won eight straight fights on the heels of a three-fight skid in the PFL in 2019. He signed with the UFC in late 2021, more than three years after a win on Dana White’s Contender Series, but not one that earned him a deal. After knockout wins over Phil Hawes and Brendan Allen, Curtis took a unanimous decision from Rodolfo Vieira less than two weeks ago.
This is the second time Till (18-4-1 MMA, 6-4-1 UFC) has pulled out of a bout against Hermansson (22-7 MMA, 9-5 UFC). They previously were scheduled to fight in December 2020 before Till withdrew due to injury.
The Englishman is coming off back-to-back losses and hasn’t seen action since September 2021, when he suffered a submission defeat to Derek Brunson at UFC Fight Night 191. The 29-year-old has only fought three times since returning to middleweight in late 2019. Till currently is 1-4 in his past five outings, with the lone victory coming in a decision against Kelvin Gastelum.
With the change, the UFC Fight Night 208 lineup now includes:
MAIN CARD (ESPN+, 2 p.m. ET)
Curtis Blaydes vs. Tom Aspinall
Jack Hermansson vs. TBA
Jordan Leavitt vs. Paddy Pimblett
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Nikita Krylov
Hannah Goldy vs. Molly McCann
Paul Craig vs. Volkan Oezdemir
PRELIMINARY CARD (ESPN+, 11 a.m. ET)
Marc Diakiese vs. Damir Hadzovic
Makwan Amirkhani vs. Jonathan Pearce
Charles Rosa vs. Nathaniel Wood
Charles Johnson vs. Muhammad Mokaev
Jai Herbert vs. Kyle Nelson
Mandy Bohm vs. Victoria Leonardo
Nicolas Dalby vs. Claudio Silva