UFC Liverpool a Huge Chance For Till, Wonderboy Still in Limbo
Top contenders in the UFC’s welterweight division, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and Darren Till, will fight in England on Sunday in a bout with huge ramifications.
Updated: May 24, 2018 • 5:50 PM ET
Liverpool, England will play host to the UFC for the first time this weekend.
After hosting many events in England since 2002, the UFC will make its first trip to Liverpool on Sunday. The main event will feature a dynamic welterweight fight that could determine a future title challenger, as No. 1 ranked Stephen Thompson will take on Liverpool’s own No. 8 Darren Till.
Thompson has challenged champion Tyron Woodley for the welterweight title twice, and both fights ended different ways. In the first fight, Thompson was as close as a fighter can get to being finished, but somehow weathered Woodley’s storm. He made the fight’s impending decision a bit interesting in the fifth round, but the clash resulted in a draw with Woodley retaining his title.
Their second fight was a chess match and far from a fan-favorite, even though Woodley dropped Thompson in the final minute of the bout. But that moment was virtually the only significant action in the fight and Woodley retained once again.
Thompson’s unpredictable striking style, matched with Woodley’s defense and power, made for a tactical and careful exchange that wasn’t pleasing to the casual fan, which will make it challenging to sell a trilogy match between the two. However, if Thompson defeats a heavily-hyped prospect like Till, it’ll be difficult to deny him another title shot.
Thompson reeled off seven straight wins on his way to the title shots, defeating fighters such as Rory MacDonald, Johny Hendricks and Robert Whitaker. He most recently dominated Jorge Masvidal to a unanimous decision victory in November at UFC 217.
Even with a dominant victory over Till, Thompson will likely have to wait his turn for another title shot, as Rafael Dos Anjos and Colby Covington will fight for the interim title at UFC 225 in June with the winner likely challenging Woodley next. The best thing Thompson can hope for is that one of those fighters defeat Woodley, because as long as Woodley is champ, he could be in a constant state of waiting.
Till is 4-0-1 in the UFC and most recently defeated Donald Cerrone by first-round TKO in October. The 25-year-old Till entered that fight as a relative unknown, but after the win over the fan favorite, he emerged as one of the most talked about prospects in the welterweight division. Till wanted the fight with Thompson, and after months of speculation was finally granted his wish.
Thompson will be a new challenge for Till, but if Till can find a way to figure out his style and win in dominant fashion like he did over Cerrone, the hype train could take him straight to the front of the line for a title shot.
The rest of the main card
Welterweight fight - No. 9 Neil Magny vs. Craig White
Featherweight fight - Arnold Allen vs. Mads Burnell
Featherweight fight - Jason Knight vs. Makwan Amirkhani
Bantamweight fight - Davey Grant vs. Manny Bermudez
Middleweight fight - Eric Spicely vs. Darren Stewart
Welterweight fight - Claudio Silva vs. Nordine Taleb
Middleweight fight - Daniel Kelly vs. Tom Breese
Welterweight fight - Bradley Scott vs. Carlo Pedersoli
Flyweight fight - Gillian Robertson vs. Molly McCann
UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims
Middleweight fight - No. 15 Elias Theodorou vs. Trevor Smith
Bantamweight fight - No. 14 Lina Lansberg vs. No. 15 Gina Mazany
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