Darren Till vs. Stephen Thompson recently became official for UFC Fight Night 130 in Liverpool, and Till already has some very specific stakes in mind for the matchup.
“I think it’s gonna be the most interesting fight of my life, just because of his fight IQ and my own,” Till said on the “Obviously Fight Talk” podcast. “So let’s see who wins. Let’s see who is the best striker in the division. Now it’s time to see.”
Till improve to 16-0-1 as a professional with a first-round technical knockout of Donald Cerrone in his most recent appearance at UFC Fight Night 118 this past October. The Liverpool native is unbeaten in five Octagon appearances, with a draw against Nicolas Dalby in October 2015 the only blemish on his ledger thus far.
The 25-year-old welterweight doesn’t agree with the notion that it might be too soon for him to take on an opponent as experienced as Thompson, who twice challenged Tyron Woodley for welterweight gold.
“In terms of earliness, striking-wise I don’t think it’s too early because of been striking all my life and so has he,” Till said. “I wouldn’t say in terms of that — and even MMA. I wouldn’t say his wrestling caliber is any better than mine or his ground game. I know he’s got some good training partners — Chris Weidman and all. But I don’t see where he’s better than me anywhere. I just think my striking is better.”
While Cerrone was the signature triumph of Till’s career, “Wonderboy” owns an impressive resume that includes victories over the likes of Jorge Masvidal, Rory MacDonald, Johny Hendricks, Jake Ellenberger, Patrick Cote and Robert Whittaker, to name a few.
Till expects perceptions to change following UFC Fight Night 130.
“As soon as I beat Stephen it’s just proven that I’m the best striker in the welterweight division,” he said. “When I beat him on [May 27], then people can stop talking about my hype train.”