After UFC Liverpool victory, Darren Till feels Team Kaobon has been given its rebirth

As a young, naive Scouse lad running around Liverpool, Darren Till (17-0-1) found himself among the front doors of the infamous Kaobon facility. A facility that was home to more British UFC fighters than anywhere else. For a cocksure character like Till, it was the kind of gym where you’ll either fit the mould or find out it’s your ball game.

For Till, it was the former. With combatants on the mats like Paul Kelly, Terry Etim and Paul Sass, Darren was bound to pick up a thing or two. Whilst being a sponge for knowledge, the sponge had to be durable.

“When I started, Kaobon was amazing,” Till told. “We had seven UFC fighters in that gym. I would just look at them as a seventeen-year-old kid just amazed at what I saw with my own eyes. The first sparring session I ever had with Terry Etim, he dropped me with two body shots and I remember thinking, ‘I will get you back one day!’

As Till grew older and found himself in Brazil, MMA’s evolution continue to grow at a spurring rate. With that, times in the Octagon became tougher for some Kaobon members as bouts didn’t always go their way. For others, life got in the way and results showcased such events.

In recent years, it’s no secret to acknowledge the lack of presence of Kaobon on the domestic circuit and inside the UFC. As the new age dawned, it was almost like starting over again. The process has taken its time to bring Kaobon back to that deadly, fiery aroma they once were known for.

Since then, touted battlers have come through the ranks. One Till is extremely high on is the commonwealth bronze medal wrestler Mike Grundy (11-1), whom Darren humbly feels is far overdue his Octagon debut.

“Mike Grundy deserves to be in the UFC more than myself,” ‘The Gorilla’ asserted. “He’s the hardest working man I know. He’s always been there for me. Like, I was struggling to make the other night and he was there with me, sleeping in the gym while I was back and forth dealing with some problems and cutting the weight.

“That man could beat everyone in the division. I train with him every day. He takes me down and he beats me up constantly. He needs to be in there soon.”

Following his clinical outpointing of Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson (14-3-1) last night in Liverpool in his biggest contest yet – with everything on the line over the course of a couple of tumultuous days – Darren Till feels he has provided the setting for Kaobon’s rebirth to come to full fruition.

Through his team’s mind, attitude and drive carved and crafted by head coach Colin Heron, his father-like presence and discipline overlooking each and every student is what Till feels will continue to put the wheels in motion and bring world champion status in mixed martial arts to the holy ground of Team Kaobon.

“Right now, Kaobon is getting more recognition; even more than it deserves,” Till expressed. “It’s the best gym in the world. Colin as a coach and the way he forms a team is incredible. If you’re not a team player in Kaobon, you’ve gotta go somewhere else because we don’t want you. If you’ve got a bad attitude or you think you’re bigger than anyone, go somewhere else.

“That’s the mentality we have as a team that Colin has put into all and it works. I say this all the time, but I could have no training partners and it be just myself and Colin, things are going to be fine.”