Hashtag Files: Talk trash on Twitter, and Darren Till will scorch ye, mate – but mostly he's here to have fun
If you’re going to be a professional MMA fighter these days, you’ve got to stake out your territory on social media. The bizarre online world is where fighters interact with fans, attempt to arrange future fights, and sometimes just fall down strange rabbit holes.
But what can we learn about people by wasting our time scouring their social media for clues as to their true selves? That, friends, is a pointless and utterly unserious job for the The Blue Corner.
These are the Hashtag Files.
Darren Till, UFC welterweight
After wading through his social media presence, here’s one thing I feel fairly certain of: Darren Till operates his own Twitter.
That’s not always a given with pro fighters above a certain popularity threshold. It’s not even a claim I’m willing to make about his Instagram, where there are an awful lot of professional-looking shots of Till training and parenting and training some more.
But Twitter? Where he’ll call you a muppet and demand to know what your problem is, mate, that you keep following him if you hate him so much? Yeah, that feels like it can only be the work of the man himself. Because who else would even bother?
If I had to choose one word to describe Till’s approach to Twitter, that word would be “accessible.” Even with a main event fight against Jorge Masvidal at UFC on ESPN+ 5 coming up in London this Saturday, and even though his followers number in the low six figures, this is a man you can get a response out of.
If you include him in a tweet about having to leave an MMA event early, he’ll tell you that you should have just asked him for a ride home. On the flip side though, if you upset him he will not hesitate to call you a clown and threaten to “report your ma for being an absolute creature.”
Point is, yeah, you can talk to Till on the Twitter machine if you want to. Just make sure you want to. Because while he will absolutely retweet praise and engage positively with supportive fans, he also won’t hesitate to scorch you in the event that you show up on his timeline talking some trash.
This is true not just of regular people with 35 followers, but especially true when it comes to Till’s baffling feud with, of all people, Piers Morgan.
In case you don’t know, Morgan is a British TV personality and celebrity hanger-on whose entire gimmick revolves around clinging to notoriety and fame via any means necessary. He will say nearly anything for attention. He appears to have not a shred of humility or shame. He seems to actually enjoy being widely reviled.
So how did Till end up feuding with him? Unclear. In interviews this week, he explained that he simply doesn’t like the guy, in part because “he’s got too much to say … too much negative stuff to say.” Which, hey, that’s kind of Morgan’s whole deal. But also, Till admitted, beefing with a guy who has over 6.5 million followers on Twitter is pretty good publicity, so there’s that too.
This gets us to the heart of how Till interacts with the various social medias. Instagram seems to be a slightly more serious business for him. That’s where you’ll find him looking sweaty and regal during training sessions, pausing only occasionally to post Derrick Lewis-esque memes about struggles with fidelity or the FIFA video game.
For the most part, Instagram is the more posed and edited version of his life. It’s where Darren Till the father and the fighter lives.
But Twitter? That’s the online pub, mate – and there are times when it seems like he may be literally tweeting from a pub. Twitter is where Till goes to kick back and have meaningless, wholly unserious fun. There, he’s the guy at the end of the bar, careening from one topic to another with great aplomb. If you come talking that mess, he’ll talk some back. If you come making jokes, he’ll make some of his own.
And if you want to talk about the fight game? Then you’ve really got his attention. Because Twitter Till is, in many ways, just another MMA superfan retweeting and engaging with fighters, promoters, and media personalities. If you’re reading this, chances are that he’s a lot like you. Except he’s, you know, better at actually fighting, so when he talks smack to Ben Askren, there’s something behind it.
It’s in his retweets that you see how much in common he has with the average MMA fan. Yes, he also likes to pause every once in a while to remember that time Fabricio Werdum frontkicked Edmond Tarverdyan. And yes, he’ll also get hyped for a weekend of Bellator, UFC, and Cage Warriors events. You better believe he hates ticket scalpers as much as you do. Also, like any denizen of MMA messageboards, don’t think he can’t appreciate a good photoshop.
Till’s presence on Twitter makes you think that if he hadn’t been born into a strong, athletically gifted body – if, instead, he’d been born into the frame of a pudgy middle-manager from Sheffield – he’d still be here with the rest of us.
Still talking trash to Askren. Still just as genuinely appreciative of Masvidal’s no-nonsense approach to pro fighting. Still telling you what you can do with your dumb opinion, you gobshite muppet. You know, one of us. For better and for worse.
The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie’s blog space. We don’t take it overly seriously, and neither should you. If you come complaining to us that something you read here is not hard-hitting news, expect to have the previous sentence repeated in ALL CAPS.
2 months ago