The internet erupted with excitement when Dana White revealed he was targeting Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson vs. Darren Till for a UFC in England on February 24th. White admitted the plan wasn't locked in yet, but now it's sounding like it wasn't even floated past Stephen Thompson's people.
Thompson's father and manager Ray spoke with MMA Fighting and revealed the karate specialist has two seriously jacked thumbs, possibly broken or with damaged ligaments. He also has a bad case of Doesn't-Want-To-Fight-Till-Itis.
“We’ve talked to no one [about fighting Till],” Ray Thompson added. “Not sure how this is a ‘done deal.’ As for Till, he needs to fight through the murderers row at welterweight like ‘Wonderboy’ did to get to the top.
“We want to fight forward. We’ve been calling out [Robbie] Lawler since before the first Woodley fight and have gotten crickets on it. Why? Why hasn’t anyone talked to us about it? No one from the UFC, no one from Lawler’s camp, no one. ‘Wonderboy’ had one of the most fantastic, exciting fights when he fought [Tyron] Woodley at UFC 205. That fight stole the show. The second fight was a snoozefest, mostly because Wonderboy chased Woodley around the Octagon for five rounds. We take part of the blame since we didn’t pull the trigger often enough. Since then we feel like we are being moved out of title contention. Not saying that’s the case but it sure looks that way. What happened to the rankings?”
The LA Times' Lance Pugmire, who first revealed White's plans, went on Twitter to clear things up.
White said he's pulling Till from the 2/24 Orlando card and moving him in bout against @WonderboyMMA in Till's "hometown."— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) November 8, 2017
While there's a March 17 Fight Night card in London, White specified Till would fight in his hometown, Liverpool.— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) November 8, 2017
Here was White's quote: "So what you do is, I literally switch my whole schedule. I’m laying [stuff] out here I shouldn’t be talking about.— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) November 8, 2017
.... We’re supposed to do this fight in Orlando. I’m pulling it from Orlando and I’m moving it out to his hometown in England."— Lance Pugmire (@latimespugmire) November 8, 2017
So while we may not get "Wonderboy" vs. Till, it sounds like the UFC is definitely going to put Darren Till at the top of a card in Liverpool.