Michael Bisping defends Darren Till over family comments that cause absolute uproar
You may have missed it, but Darren Till was public enemy number one in MMA circles very recently.
To the uninformed, what Darren Till said about his family sounded terrible. Written down, it looks even worse.
Speaking to reporters in Los Angeles, the Liverpudlian said the following ahead of his welterweight title fight against Tyron Woodley set to headline UFC 228.
"I've got a girlfriend who's nearly seven months pregnant. I don't really care. I've got a daughter in Brazil right now who I haven't seen for one year. I don't really care. I care about legacy and greatness. That's what I'm in this for. I'm not in this to make money, be a champion and leave. I'm in this for people to say at the end of it, 'You were the greatest.' That's my only mentality. Fuck money and fuck everything else."
These comments did not go down very well. The reaction online was very critical of 'the Gorilla'. Some even called his fatherhood into question. That narrative doesn't really go with what Till told Tom Rooney of MMAJunkie in September 2017.
"It’s not easy being away from my daughter because I love her, and she’s my little bit of daylight. This is all for her and me and her mother, because I want us all to have a good life."
Those are not the words of a man who doesn't really give a fuck about his daughter. We are reminded of a quote from BJJ great Garry Tonon on the selfishness of being an elite athlete.
Until a person competes at an elite level it's nearly impossible for people to understand the amount of selfishness that's required to get there. If you expect to stay close to people at an elite level you have to learn to accept this. The challenge before them is #1, not you.
— Garry Tonon (@Garry_Tonon) March 19, 2018
You can count on the Count
In case you're still not getting it, let Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping break it down for you. 'The Count' gave his take on the quotes during a recent episode of his podcast Believe You Me.
"What he's saying is, right now his mission, his quest in life, is to be the best fighter in the world, win the world title and go down in history. Of course he loves his daughter. Of course he wants to see her. What he's saying is, 'Right now, I'm fighting for the title. I've got a seven-month pregnant girlfriend. I don't give a fuck. I've got a kid down there I never see. I dont give a fuck. The only thing that matters in my life right now is winning the belt."
"Maybe the choice of words were not the smartest, not the best, but that's what he's saying. If you read between the lines. He's not saying that he doesn't give a fuck about his daughter. Even though that's exactly what he does say. That's not what he's saying.What he's saying is it matters so much to him."
Poor choice of words - yes. Sign that he's a terrible father and parent - probably not.