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Darren Till: Side-Kicks To The Knee Should Not Be Banned

Darren Till has responded to his UFC Liverpool opponent Stephen Thompson’s thoughts on the controversial practice of throwing sidekicks to the knee.

Thompson found himself in the headlines shortly after his welterweight title-eliminator against the Liverpudlian due to comments he made about the tactics employed by the man who ended up defeating him on the judge’s scorecards.

After tearing his MCL as a result of the kick, Wonderboy spoke to BJPenn.com and explained why he believed that the kick is one that puts fighters at risk of permanent, career-threatening injury.

“I honestly think that strike should be made illegal. It could end somebody’s career. You know Robert Whittaker had to have ACL surgery following his first fight with Yoel Romero due to that particular strike.

“And as you could see, Robert Whittaker made sure to beat Yoel Romero to the punch in their second fight. He threw a lot more than he did this time around. It is just a very dangerous technique.

“I think a lot of fighters throw that strike but sometimes it is for different reasons.”

Till used the kick as a means of stifling Wonderboy’s momentum over the course of their five-round clash and while the fight was about as close as you could get, the American believes that the kick utilized by the Englishman was a deciding factor in what was a truly tense affair.

Darren Till responded to this in a recent interview with MTK Global:

“I saw the interview he did. If he wants leg kicks banned, why don’t we ban spinning head-kicks to the face while we’re at it?

“I was not trying to hurt his knee. I was trying to deaden his leg to stop him using it. That was my strategy.

“I know he’s had surgery on his left knee and I was not trying to cause him another injury in that area but this is a fight and we’re in the most brutal sport in the world. 

“In my opinion, you can’t really come out and say you want this thing banned or that thing banned.”

As for the possibility of sharing the octagon with Wonderboy again, Till seemed to have no issues with doing so – provided that it was what the UFC wanted to do with him.

“If a rematch with Thompson is what the UFC want me to do, I’ll do the rematch. If he wants another fight, it’ll be the different this time. I’ll be much stronger. If he wants it, he can have it.

 “I’m not one for turning down a fight – especially not a rematch.”

Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena

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Author: Cillian Cunningham

Lead mixed martial arts writer who can be contacted at [email protected]