Rising UFC welterweight contender Darren Till will encounter his steepest test to date at UFC Fight Night 130 on May 27 live on FOX Sports 1 from inside Echo Arena in Liverpool, England, when he takes on two-time UFC title challenger Stephen Thompson.
While Till is coming off a monstrous knockout victory over veteran Donald Cerrone back at UFC Fight Night 118 this past October, “Wonderboy” is one of the most difficult puzzles to solve in all of mixed martial arts (MMA) today. In order to stifle the rangy striker and implement his own game plan, Till must be at his absolute best when the cage door shuts on May 27.
Fortunately for Till, who just turned 25 this past December, he is not a fighter who lacks confidence. In fact, the Liverpool native is aiming to prove his critics wrong and go tit-for-tat with “Wonderboy” on the feet.
“I think it’s going to be the most interesting fight I’ll ever have in my life, just because of his fight IQ and mine,” Till said during a recent appearance on the Obviously Fight Talk podcast. “Let’s see who wins, lets see who’s the best in the division. Now it’s time to see.”
“Striking-wise, I don’t think it’s too early because I’ve been striking my whole life and so has he,” Till said. “I wouldn’t say [it’s early] in terms of that and even in MMA, I wouldn’t say his wrestling caliber is any better than mine, or his ground game.
“I know he’s got some good training partners — Chris Weidman and that — but I don’t see where he is better than me anywhere. I just think my striking is better than his and I’m going to beat him.”
One UFC fighter who doesn’t think Till has a shot against Thompson is none other than current welterweight champion Tyron Woodley, who recently stated that “Wonderboy” will make “light work” of the younger contender. While Woodley knows a little more about Thompson than most of us, especially considering he’s fought him twice, Till is not concerned about the outside noise. He’s out to prove that he’s the best 170-pound fighter on the planet and one capable of stopping the best of the best.
“As soon as I beat Stephen everyone will know that I’m the best striker in the welterweight division,” said Till. “As soon as I beat him on the 27th then people can stop talking about my hype train.”
When asked how he’s going to defeat Thompson at UFC Fight Night 130 Till replied by a predicting a “third-round knockout,” which would be his first of the sort since 2013. It’s a lofty goal to say the least, especially considering Thompson has never been finished in his MMA career, but Till is a strong welterweight with skill and precision to match. It should be interesting to say the least.
UFC Fight Night 130 will feature another welterweight showdown between perennial contender Neil Magny and submission specialist Gunnar Nelson.
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