Earlier this year, the UFC changed a card from Dublin, Ireland to Liverpool, England for one reason and one reason only: Darren Till.
Till was on the rise to stardom after his stunning knockout win over Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone. Till would then take on top welterweight contender Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson.
Thompson was coming off of a draw and a loss to the champion Tyron Woodley before beating Jorge Masvidal. There, Till was calling out Thompson and ultimately the top contender took the fight and headed over to Till’s hometown to try and stop Till’s rise to the title.
“The Till fight was tough, man, traveling all that way to Liverpool. I was fighting in this guy’s hometown,” said Thompson on the 100th episode of BJPENN Radio. “I think he was ranked No. 9 at the time. So I was ranked No. 1, or No. 2 or something like that, going out there.”
Not only was Thompson taking a huge risk fighting a relative unknown, but he was also fighting Till in his hometown. However, on weigh-in day, Till missed weight and the fight was in jeopardy.
“It was rough, just the fact that going all that way, and the next thing you know, the guy doesn’t make weight. You know,” Thompson added. “The guy had an hour to get the weight off, comes back even heavier. So it’s like, “Man, you know, he’s not even trying to make this weight.” But, you know what? It is what it is. We went out there and did it, man. I went out there to fight, had a lot of people supporting me and actually got the tickets to fly out there. People from my hometown, so there was no way I was gonna turn it down.”
Ultimately, Till won the fight by decision, a close yet controversial one at that.
Since the fight, Thompson has yet to fight again while Till challenged for Woodley’s title last month at UFC 228 and came up short.
What do you make of Thompson’s comments?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/11/2018