No. 1-ranked UFC welterweight contender Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, who’s challenged divisional champion Tyron Woodley twice to date, was hoping to receive a chance to fight for the interim 170-pound title, but he’ll instead be taking on 25-year-old rising star Darren Till in the main event of this Sunday’s (May 27, 2018) UFC Fight Night 130 from Till’s home of Liverpool, England.
And while some have questioned whether or not the fight made sense for Thompson given him and Till’s respective spots in the rankings, ‘Wonderboy’ recently said that he’ll be looking to prove why he’s ranked at the top:
“That’s what I’m out there to prove to the fans and everybody around the world. There are levels to this,” Thompson told Damon Martin of MMAWeekly. “I’m going to go out there and I’m going to do work. You’re going to see the level of that No. 1 and No. 8. UFC’s giving him a chance so I know he’s going to be coming prepared. Anybody in the UFC has a chance to knock you out. So I’m not going to take this guy lightly.
“I’m going to prove to everybody this is why I’m No. 1 and there are levels to this game.”
In terms of the fight itself, many are expecting a striking contest due to the fact that Thompson comes from a karate and kick boxing background and Till comes from a Muay Thai background, but ‘Wonderboy’ didn’t seem like he’d be surprised if Till attempted to wrestle him:
“I know that pretty much everybody I face is going to wind up wanting to take me down eventually,” he said. “I know in some of Till’s earlier fights, he has tried to take people down. I know he prefers to stand up, which is something I want to do.
“He wants to prove he’s the better striker than me and that puts a smile on my face. I hope that’s his plan.”
UFC Fight Night 130 will take place from the Echo Arena and be aired live on FOX Sports 1.