Till or Thompson to come out on top?
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The Ultimate Fighting Championship is coming to the UK in May as its global appeal continues to grow, with the likes of and Manchester’s very own, Michael Bisping, particularly pushing the sport towards UK shores and enabling the British public to adopt a star of their own.
Liverpool’s local hero, , is another fighter making waves on this side of the pond. Till will have his fellow Liverpudlians behind him when he takes on American Stephen Thompson for their UFC Fight Night 130 headliner inside Echo Arena on May 27. The Merseyside born mixed martial artist, who’s relatively young aged just 25, is desperate to reach the top and emulate the likes of Bisping by challenging at the highest level, starting with this eagerly anticipated match-up against the American from South Carolina and a former UFC title challenger.
Sport in Liverpool is on a high at the moment, mainly down to the remarkable efforts of Liverpool’s football club (they are 6/5 with Bet365 to win a sixth Champions League Final later this month) creating a vibrant sporting atmosphere in the city. Till, considered to be the underdog for the fight against Stephen Thompson, will be in a confident mood with his army of fellow scousers behind him. Judging by the sporting achievements of the city in 2018, another success could easily be on the cards. Till himself is sounding confident, recently stating that Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson won’t be in for the easy fight many are predicting. Till said: “All the tough fights against the (Rafael) dos Anjos, Colby (Covington), (Kamaru) Usman, (Santiago) Ponzinibbio, (Demian) Maia and (Jorge) Masvidal – if I can’t fight them and beat them, then I’m not a real fighter. This is not a chance for me to beat someone easy. To be honest, I’m going to shock the world when I fight ‘Wonderboy.’”
Till, clearly confident of his ability, especially after his first-round knockout of Donald Cerrone in October, added: “A lot of people are going to see. This is just another time I’m going to be doubted but I’m going to prove people wrong. I don’t want the guarantees, but I know what I’m going to do. I’m going to shock a lot of people.”
Till has been accused of not fighting big names in the past but the Thompson match-up, an opponent with undoubted pedigree after losing just once in his career, represents a stern test for the Brit.
Stephen Thompson’s unique and tricky style make him a candidate to derail Till’s momentum, with the American karate master likely to lead from the off and throw a number of damaging strikes Till’s way, undoubtedly looking to take control of the fight. Till, though, is still the slight outsider at 6/4 according to Bet365. Thompson is priced at a tempting 4/7 with the same bookmaker. However, the real value might be in Till nicking a submission victory at 17/1 with Paddy Power. You can check out the latest latest UK betting offers from major bookies, including free bets, to back all aspects of the fight.
Speaking on Thompson, Till said: “He’s a karate master, but with my feel about how the fight is going and how I see every movement and every opportunity, I’m going to catch him. He’s going to throw a lot of different, difficult strikes at me, but I’m going to be able to get him and put my game on him.”
Till added: “It’s all good when people say stuff out of the cage, but when you’re in the cage with me you realise there’s no one of my caliber. It’s a different game with me. I truly believe in my striking. I believe it’s the best in the world.”
Darren Till’s reputation is growing, with ‘The Gorilla’ ready to upset the odds and beat Stephen Thompson in his home city. Can he do it? His biggest test yet is just around the corner.