Following a five-round battle against Darren Till at UFC Liverpool, Stephen Thompson has stated he feels side kicks to the knee should be banned after suffering an MCL tear as a result of the move in his fight with the Liverpool native.
Thompson, who was defeated by Till via unanimous decision in Liverpool, has been forced to sit out for a couple of months after he suffered an MCL tear. The former Karate world champion feels that Till was aiming for his surgically repaired knee on the night with the intent of causing injury.
“You know I tore my MCL in the fight with Till,” Thompson confirmed on BJPenn.com.
“We did an MRI and thankfully nothing else was damaged. No surgery is required for this injury but I have to give it at least eight weeks to heal properly before I can get back to training.”
Thompson has stated he feels the move should be made illegal: “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.”
Thompson continued “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. When I fought Jorge Masvidal he used that same side kick to the knee. But when Jorge threw it, he was doing so just to keep me away. Not in an attempt to injure my knee.”
However, Stephen Thompson feels that Till had the intent of injury on his mind ” When I was in the cage fighting Till it felt like okay this guy is trying to break my leg. It was like he had intentions of ripping everything out in my knee. That’s how I felt anyway. Like this dude is really trying to injure me in here. I think it an ugly strike and that it should be made illegal.”
In reference to Robert Whittaker vs Yoel Romero, it is unknown whether or not Romero suffered any injury during the fight, even though both fighters were admitted to the hospital after UFC 225.
Whilst Till has yet to discuss the matter, it is unlikely the UFC will take action. With moves such as leg locks and knee bars still being permitted which can also cause similar injuries, the move is likely to be continually used in bouts.