Obviously Fight Talk’s full interview with Darren Till can be watched at the bottom of this page.
We at Obviously Fight Talk sat down with Darren Till to discuss the undefeated UFC welterweight’s recently announced main event at UFC Liverpool and his confirmed opponent – the two-time title challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.
“Wonderboy”, considered by many to be the best striker in MMA let alone the welterweight division, will be a stern test, even in front of a packed-out Echo Arena. With both men holding vast striking experience stepping into the famous Octagon, Till believes it’ll prove who’s the best striker.
“I think it’s going to be the most interesting fight I’ve had in my life, because of his fight IQ and mine,” he said. “So let’s see who wins, let’s see who’s the best striker in the division.”
Some fight analyst and fans-alike have said that ‘Wonderboy’ is too big a jump in class for Till.
Much like when Till was booked against Donald Cerrone. The arguments are usually similar – he needs more time; its too early for the prospect. Some have even questioned his skill set, credentials, and deemed him a hype train. Till disagrees.
“In terms of earliness, striking-wise, I don’t think it’s too early [to fight him]. I’ve been striking all my life – and so has he,” he said. “And even in terms of MMA I wouldn’t say his wrestling calibre is any better than mine, or his ground-game. I know he’s had some good training partners, but I don’t see anywhere he’s better than me.
“As soon as I beat Stephen, it’s proven that I’m the best striker in the Welterweight. So when I beat him on the 27th of May, people can stop the hype-train talk.”
Here’s how Darren Till thinks the fight will go down… pic.twitter.com/zG3jDa8Rdf
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) March 29, 2018
It was reported that the UFC were due to land in Dublin before the UFC Liverpool event was announced leaving Irish mixed martial arts fans disappointed. Till confirmed that the UFC did indeed move the event from Dublin to Liverpool for him.
“The Dublin card was all booked, and I just stole it! But Dublin has had it many times and it has never been to Liverpool, so it’s only fair to give us one show. It’ll come back to Dublin later in the year.”
It certainly worked out well for Till, and it should for Irish fans too. Most weekends plenty of Irish make the pilgrimage across to Liverpool to roar on their team – be it blue or red. But for Till – fighting in a UFC main event in his home town against the no1. ranked welterweight in the world – this is the stuff of dreams. So it’s understandable, even to the most hardened Irish MMA fan, why the UFC moved this card to Liverpool.
It looked like, for some time, that the Wonderboy fight wouldn’t come to fruition.
Till believes that it was the UFC’s insistence that made it happen.
“They wanted to push for me versus Steven Thompson, and they knew in bringing it to Liverpool, the crowd there – like the Irish crowd – thrive off a good striking war, a bloodbath.
“I didn’t fight on the London show, so they’ve come to my home town. I’ve had to wait a bit longer but I’ve got the fight I wanted. As soon as I beat Steven, then what happens: do I become number one? It’s a big jump from unranked to seven to one, but, y’know.”
We always say there are levels in mixed martial arts, it’s very rare you can skip a level – Till showcased in devastating fashion against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone that this is true. Cowboy known for his striking skill set was dismantled by Till within a minute back in Poland.
“There are strikers in MMA, and then there’s REAL strikers like me. Cowboy’s a good striker by MMA standards, but I know I’m on a completely different level from guys like him. And so’s Thompson as well. Which is why I want to separate him and me to see who’s the best striker. It’s gonna be an intelligence match rather than a slugfest. I’m not underestimating him, but I know I can beat him – I’m younger and faster and I’ve got more to my game than he has.”
Next up is Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson on the 27th of May in Liverpools Echo Arena. Who is the best striker in the welterweight division?