Last night, in the main event of the UFC’s debut in Liverpool, England, two-time welterweight title challenger Stephen Thompson gave up a razor close decision to hometown hero Darren Till.
Though Till landed more overall strikes and significant strikes, and scored the only knockdown of the fight, many onlookers felt Thompson did enough to earn the judges’ favor in this welterweight chess match. Thompson himself shares this opinion, but as always, has been pure class in defeat, and is determined not to take anything away from Till’s big win.
“I thought I edged it out, but he’s definitely a big boy,” Thompson told UFC reporter Megan Olivi post-fight. “You could feel his weight out there a little bit. But you know what, it is what it is.”
Till, as Thompson suggests above, missed weight for the bout, tipping the scales at 174.5 pounds. Thompson accepted the fight with the stipulation that Till weigh no more than 188 pounds at 1:00 pm local time on fight day. Though Till managed to hit this mark, he still seemed to be the much bigger fighter in the cage. All the same, Thompson is reluctant to diminish Till’s win on the basis of his weight.
“You know what? It is what it is,” Thompson said. “I’m going to go back and definitely learn from this. But hat’s off to Darren.”
Interestingly, Till has been demonstrating just the same kind of post-fight class as Thompson. In fact, he even believes that, because he missed weight weight, Thompson should still be ahead of him in the welterweight title picture.
“I missed weight, so I don’t feel I deserve a title shot anyway,” Till told the media after his win (via MMAjunkie). “I missed weight. So there you go, right away. I don’t deserve it. I feel like Stephen deserves it. Whoever wins out of the interim [title fight between Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington at UFC 225 should fight] maybe Stephen or [Kamaru] Usman. They deserve it more… I still want to beat them all in the division. I want to come back and put that weight thing behind me.”
How did you score Darren Till and Stephen Thompson’s fight in Liverpool?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/28/2018.