Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson just can’t see Darren Till having any success against him with they meet at UFC Liverpool next month.
Few out-and-out strikers who transition from their original sport to the world of MMA find consistent success, but in the case of Stephen Thompson, the way he has been able to adapt his karate game to the more multi-faceted demands of octagon-combat has been astounding.
Widely known as the most technically sound striker in the sport, Wonderboy will face off against another man who would challenge him for that honour, Darren Till, who burst onto the scene last year with a stunning first-round TKO of Donald Cerrone.
UFC Liverpool will host the bout, and though Till will own the hometown crowd, Thompson doesn’t seem to think he’ll be given too many problems by his Liverpool-born opponent.
Speaking to Submission Radio in a recent interview, the former two-time title challenger had this to say on the rising prospect, Darren Till:
“I think I’ve faced better strikers. I think Rory MacDonald is a great striker, I think Jorge Masvidal is an excellent striker. I think [Darren Till is] kind of predictable.
“I think him coming out there, he might have a few tricks up his sleeve, but whenever you’re pushed, whenever you’re pressured you always go back to the way you usually fight.
“I remember Johny Hendricks coming out there saying he’s got something new, but whenever he was pressured he went back to his old self, and that’s what made it easy.”
A bold statement given the considerable hype that surrounds Till at this time but with only losses to Tyron Woodley and an early setback against Matt Brown providing blemishes to his record, Thompson is more than capable of shutting down his opponent’s game entirely.
It should be a good one, either way, though.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena