Trainer Explains How Darren Till Cheated Against Stephen Thompson

Per Haljestam for USA TODAY Sports
Spread the word!

There is still talk about the fight between Darren Till and Stephen Thompson.

Before they even stepped inside of the Octagon under the UFC banner, there was drama. It’s well known that Till missed weight the day before the fight and had to stay below 188 pounds until a few hours before the fight in order for the commission to sanction it.

He originally weighed in three pounds heavier than the maximum welterweight limit, which is 171.

As seen in the main event of UFC Liverpool event that aired live on FOX Sports 1 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England, the rising prospect picked up a unanimous decision win over former title contender but it was a close fight that has some people saying Till won while others say that Thompson won the fight.

Longtime MMA trainer Ray Longo recently made an appearance on the Jon Anik and Kenny Florian podcast to talk about various topics including this fight and how everything went down.

According to Longo, he thinks the fight was an easy one to score and that “Wonderboy” won the fight.

“I really thought it was an easy fight to score – minimum three rounds to two for Wonderboy, maybe four,” Longo said (transcript courtesy of MMA Fighting). “When they announced those scores – 49-46 – I thought it was definitely him. It’s not an exciting fight, a very tactical chess game, but I just think that Darren Till did nothing. It’s not even what Wonderboy did, it’s what Darren Till didn’t do. Add in the fact that he missed weight, I just think it’s a no win situation for him in that fight.

“It was a close fight, there’s no question about that, but I just don’t know how you give any of those first three rounds to Darren Till. I looked at one or two rounds over again and it’s just weird. He really didn’t do anything. There was a lot of posturing. Wonderboy at least caught him coming in a couple of times, I thought. I guess you can’t leave it to the judges.”

It should be noted that Longo, who is one half of the Serra-Longo fight team, has had a working relationship with Thompson for years as he frequently spars with some of the Serra-Longo fight team that includes Chris Weidman, Al Iaquinta, Aljamain Sterling, and more.

Longo believes that fighters who miss weight are cheaters at this point in time.

“I think they’re gonna have to readdress this because at the end of the day it’s cheating,” Longo said. “There’s a higher percentage of wins with guys that don’t make weight than there are with guys that are on PEDs. They’re like 50-50 or even worse. They’re not even winning and they’re literally cheating. These guys [who miss weight] are cheaters at this point. If they’re not doing performance enhancing drugs, they’ve figured out another way to make it. This guy was willing to give away his whole purse, what does that tell you? He wanted to give away not 20 percent, he wanted to give away his whole purse. So they really have to come up with something because this looks like a problem.

“It’s just not right and everybody’s already forgotten about it. He didn’t make weight and they already moved past that. It’s not two years down the line, it’s two days down the line. It’s actually two days. It’s already over. Nobody mentions the weight at this point. They’re gonna have to come up with something because it looks like it’s worth a couple thousand dollars here and there.”

“This was a big fight for that kid and I think it’s a red flag for what’s to come in the future,” Longo said. “Even though he got the W, he’s really acting like he did something tremendous. He really didn’t do anything until the fifth round. I do think he’s a talented guy, big strong kid, and he’s gonna bring it so I’m curious to see what happens with him in the future but that fight, I thought, was an easy fight to score and I would’ve scored that for Wonderboy without a doubt.”