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Monday Morning Hangover: What’s next for Stephen Thompson after coming up short at UFC Liverpool?

Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC Fight Night 130 blew the roof off Echo Arena yesterday (Sun., May 27, 2018) in Liverpool, England.

Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds including Craig White, who got a rude welcome to the big leagues courtesy of Neil Magny, who choked him out in the very first round (see it). And Nordine Taleb, who was strangled by Claudio Silva in the very first round.

But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now one day removed from the show?

Stephen Thompson.

Ranked as the No. 1 Welterweight in the world, “Wonderboy” was looking to earn his way back into a third championship fight by taking out rising contender Darren Till in his own backyard. In the process, the karate expert wanted to let the rest of the young guns coming up know that he is still at the top of his game and isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

And for the most part, he did that, but neither he nor Till brought the bang to Liverpool. The folks over at the FOX Sports 1 desk including Michael Bisping and Michael Chiesa felt the two fighters spent more time giving each other high fives than actually fighting. And it’s kind of hard to disagree, as patience was displayed on both ends.

Patience that really went nowhere.

And while most fights involving two top fighters play out that way out of respect for one another, not wanting to be the first to make a mistake, this one was rather surprising seeing as how both of them love to stand-and-bang.

Still, it’s one thing to lose, it’s another to lose a fight at the hands of the judges. Especially when most people felt you deserved the nod. Still, much like one has to finish the champion convincingly to take the belt, the same goes when you’re facing a guy in his hometown.

After the loss, Thompson moved to 1-2-1 over his last four outings, two of them title fights. While Till declared “Wonderboy” was deserving of a title fight over him despite defeating him, that simply isn’t going to happen.

Still, Thompson obviously felt he won the fight.

“Yeah I thought I edged it out, but it is what it is,” said after the fight. “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.”

What is more likely for Thompson is a fight against the loser of the upcoming interim title fight between Colby Covington and Rafael dos Anjos, which is set to go down at UFC 225 on June 9, 2018 in Chicago.

I don’t foresee “Wonderboy” dropping too far down the rankings, so that fight seems appropriate. Either Colby or “RDA” will provide a fresh and interesting challenge for the striking expert. On that note, a win over either of them could be just what the doctor ordered for Thompson if he wants to get back into the thick of the title picture.

And vice versa.

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