Darren Till will return to action later this year having verbally agreed to face South African middleweight Dricus du Plessis at UFC 282 in December, according to ESPN insider Brett Okamoto.

Till, the former welterweight title challenger, has been on a rotten run in recent years having been hampered by bad luck and injuries since making the step up to the middleweight division.


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A razor-thin decision loss against Robert Whittaker in July 2020 looked to prove Till belong at the top level in the 185lb division – but a broken collarbone quickly hampered his progress as he was forced to withdraw from an April 2021 comeback against Marvin Vettori.

He returned in September that year managing a long-standing knee complaint that hampered him during defeat against the veteran Derek Brunson.

And in March 2022, Till had been rumoured for a main event showdown against Uriah Hall but the Liverpudlian fighter was unable to recover from a knee injury in time.

Till had also been set to feature on the UFC’s return to London in July in a co-main showdown against Jack Hermansson before withdrawing once again at relatively short notice, later announcing his intention to take some time away from the sport to heal his injuries fully.

“The body is never 100% but I’m coming back to what I used to be like, healthy and fit”
- Darren Till

Speaking to Adam Catterall and Nick Peet on YouTube show Block Party in July, Till said: “I feel like I’m in a bit of a Tyson Fury moment, remember when he went going through that depressed stage.

“I feel like that’s where I’m at now. S*** like this [pulling out of the Hermansson fight] just makes you feel so low.”

Two weeks ago, Till shared a short video update on his return to training as he joined close friend Khamzat Chimaev in training camp for Chimaev's main event showdown against Nate Diaz at UFC 279.

“I’m in camp helping him but I’m in camp to help myself,” Till told ESPN.

“I’m coming back. The body is never 100% but I’m coming back to what I used to be like, healthy and fit. I’m ready to get a world title, get some wins in.

“The body feels okay, obviously I have to be smart. Train, recover, train, recover, make sure I’m getting the right nutrients and stuff like that.

“I’d say in a few months’ time I will be ready… The comeback is on.”

December now looks the likely date for Till’s rumoured return on the final numbered card of the year at UFC 282 in Las Vegas.

If the fight is signed, he’ll be taking a dangerous opponent in Dricus du Plessis, a two-weight world champion outside the UFC who is currently on an impressive three-fight tear since joining the promotion.

Like Till, Du Plessis is an imposing striker with huge power, knocking out Markus Perez and Trevin Giles before being taken the distance in his third bout by Brad Tavares.

The 28-year-old South African called Till out on Twitter last month, putting himself forward as the ideal candidate for the Kaobon man’s comeback – and he appears to have gotten his wish.

A UFC light heavyweight championship rematch between Jiri Prochazka and Glover Teixeira is also rumoured to be among the bouts being lined up for UFC 282, as well as Jon Jones’ potential heavyweight debut against Stipe Miocic.