The hometown advantage is more than just a crowd on your side in MMA. Sometimes it ends up resulting in a bit of sugar added to the local fighter’s scores on the judges’ scorecards. That’s what seemed to happen at UFC Liverpool, which saw homeboy Darren Till take a 49-46, 49-46, and 48-47 decision over Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (watch the video highlights here).
Immediately after the fight, Thompson admitted he thought he had won but didn’t seem too broken up by the situation.
”Yeah I thought I edged it out, but it is what it is,” he told Megan Olivi backstage at the Echo Arena. “He’s a big boy. Definitely a big boy, you could feel his weight out there a little bit, but it is what it is ... I’m gonna go back and definitely learn from this, but hats off to Darren.”
Later at the post-fight press conference, the press asked him if he regretted the decision to move forward with the fight in enemy territory and Darren Till missing weight.
”Nah not at all,” he said. “Even though [Till] didn’t make weight, it’s in his hometown. I love being here, I love the fight game. I love to put on a show for everyone who came out, and for the people who helped get me here. This is what I do, baby. This is what I do.”
”I thought I had four of the rounds, could be controversial with three, maybe. But I felt like I hit and moved and his only good shot was in the fourth or fifth round, fifth round. But other than that it was pretty close. I felt comfortable out there. I realized how big he was so I knew I had to stay on my bike and keep moving.”
Thompson also admitted Till hurt his left knee early in the fight, limiting his mobility. And while “Wonderboy” said he intends to take some time and see what comes of the Dos Anjos vs. Covington interim welterweight title fight at UFC 225, we doubt he’ll be getting a shot at that title coming off a loss ... even one many people believe was actually a win.