8th-ranked Darren Till and number 1 contender Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson squared off today (May 27, 2018) at UFC Fight Night 130 from inside the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England, live and free on Fox Sports 1. Till had missed weight, coming in at 174.5 making this welterweight contest into a catchweight bout. This featured as Till’s big test,
Darren Till came out to “Sweet Caroline”, singing along enthusiastically with the crowd. He naturally got a huge roar from the crowd.
They touched gloves. Till came out feinting, looking to get Thompson to the cage. Thompson circled, threw up a lead leg kick. Till whiffed on a high kick, feeling out the distance. Thompson sent in a high kick off the arms. Thompson was in a southpaw stance, then switched to orthodox against the southpaw Till. Darren feinted, looked for his left, Thompson parried it away. Till landed a roundhouse kick off the arms, Thompson countered with a short blitz. Thompson blitzed in again, was out before Till could counter. He landed a straight left to the body. Till spun and landed a spinning backfist off Thompson’s guard. Thompson was landing short chopping kicks to Till’s calves. Thompson blitzed in, didn’t quite land. Till feinted forward, didn’t land before the first round was over.
Till was throwing up lead leg round kicks and Thompson was returning them at him. Till landed his left for the first time, a glancing shot. Thompson feinted forward and Till showed his uppercut. They clinched briefly, Till landed a body knee. Thompson darted in again, Till blocked. Till was looking for a Thai plumb whenever Thompson darted in. Till looked for lead leg kicks to Thompson’s knee. Thompson went for a high kick, Till leaned back out of the way. Thompson, who had been keeping the bout in open space thus far, looked for a counter to a kick and Till shook his head. He shook his head again when Thompson tried to counter with a head kick. Till stayed stationary for a second, ate a side kick to the body, and Thompson attempted a wheel kick that fell short.
Till and Thompson traded side kicks to the lead knee. Till cut off the cage and pressured Thompson. Thompson circled out, they touched gloves. Till blocked a Thompson high kick. Thompson circled away from a Till combination. Till looked for the left, Wonderboy moved away and parried. Thompson threw a front kick to Till’s gut. He had been told to target the body between rounds. Till threw out a jab. Till moved forward behind a jab and Thompson landed a sharp counter right hand. Till cut off the cage and held out his arms, but Thompson was the one who landed a right hand when he stepped in. They exchanged power punches, neither landed cleanly. Thompson countered Till with a blitz into a kick. Till shook his head. Till landed a slapping low kick. Thompson feinted, took his head offline, darted in, and the referee stopped the bout because Thompson had poked Till in the eyes when pushing off after his blitz. Till landed his left and Thompson landed a side kick Till landed the one-two as Thompson moved away, to the delight of the crowd.
The championship rounds began with both fighters still having plenty in the tank. Till moved forward and Thompson looked to counter, landing punches in a blitz. He countered a jab with a right straight. Till ate another right, looked for his left. He landed it, threw up a high kick off the arms. Till jabbed, Thompson switched stances. Till looked for his lead hook and Thompson countered. Thompson ducked a left but Till clinched, pushed Thompson to the fence, threw an elbow on the clinch break. Till looked for a spinning backfist that whiffed. He double jabbed and landed, then whiffed on a lead hook. Thompson feinted, kicked Till’s calf. Till got aggressive, threw that one-two as Thompson circled away. Between rounds, Thompson’s dad asked him “what did he hurt you with? Nothing!”
They hugged at the start of the final round. Thompson avoided a couple combinations from Till. Till landed a jab moving forward. Till tried a clumsy wheel kick and Thompson grinned and touched his glove. Till got Thompson to the cage but couldn’t capitalize. Thompson ate a jab, backed up, went down! It was his left overhand, thrown over the top of Thompson’s right hand. Thompson got back up, looked for a blitz. Till stalked forward, ate a couple punches from Wonderboy. Till got him to the cage, Thompson shot in and put Till on his back for a split second, Till used an overhook to get back up. They feinted at each other for the remainder of the fight.
Darren Till won the bout via unanimous decision, which will surely be a source of controversy, and proceeded to shout something that was very emphatically bleeped by the Fox Sports 1 staff. He says in all his life of striking, he’s never fought a striker like that, and he had to use all parts of his brain to figure it out. It was very hard to figure out what he was saying, as he kept getting bleeped out for swearing.
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Official result: Darren Till def. Stephen Thompson via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46x2)
For complete Fight Night 130 results, including play-by-play, click here