Yesterday (May 27, 2018), former two-time welterweight title challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson entered enemy territory to take on 25-year-old rising star Darren Till in the main event of UFC Fight Night 130 from Till’s home of Liverpool, England.
And while the fight was a highly anticipated one, it turned out to be a bit lackluster, with neither man producing much action. The score also turned out to be quite controversial, as Till was given a unanimous decision victory, while many had “Wonderboy” winning.
Thompson also felt as if he had done enough to get the nod:
“I thought I had four of the rounds,” Thompson said at the event’s post-fight press conference. “Could be controversial, three maybe? I don’t know. I felt like I would hit and move. The only really good shot he had was that one shot in the 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.”
“I knew it was going to be a close fight, but I thought I had edged it out,” he continued. “He’s a big boy, he’s hard to move around. Didn’t move anywhere, came forward, tough guy.”
In a five-round fight that produced few notable moments, it was indeed Till who scored the only knockdown, dropping Thompson in the final frame with his patented left hand. “Wonderboy”, however, admitted he was ‘staggered’, but confirmed that he wasn’t out:
“I was dazed for a minute, I was definitely going all the way down. Just smoked me right on the back of the head here,” Thompson said. “I went down, been hit there before, but recovered well, got right back up to my feet, so I didn’t go out, my legs gave out a little bit and that was it.
“It staggered me a little bit, but I didn’t black out or anything. I finished the round okay I thought. Thank goodness I was blessed with a hard head.”
At the end of the day, Till may not have done enough to win over the masses worldwide, but he proved that he can compete with the elite at 170 pounds, and Thompson recognized that:
“He’s a good fighter,” Thompson said. “I expected him to be a little more aggressive than he was tonight. He was doing a lot of waiting, he did come to me a little bit. Every time I’d blitz in he stood there right in front of me, so he was a big guy.
“I knew I couldn’t back him up, so I had to kind of play the game, so to speak. Landed a good shot in the first round on my knee, which kept me from moving and doing what I wanted to do out there, especially throwing my kicks. I felt wobbly standing on it so that took me out of the game a little bit, but he’s a good fighter. Very tough guy.”
Who did you score the bout for?