Stephen Thompson still feels as though he won his UFC Liverpool main event clash with Darren Till last year, and he’s open to clashing with his fellow former title challenger again if the Liverpudlian is interested.
Both men are coming off their first knockout losses. Considering Till’s knockout at the hands of Jorge Masvidal, Thompson revealed that he thought Till would win the fight, but understands that anything can happen when two of the best fighters in the world collide.
“Both of those guys are some of the best fighters in the world, which a lot of people just don’t understand,” Thompson told MMA Fighting’s Eurobash podcast. “You get the average fan watching these fights and they don’t understand that these are the best fighters in the world right now. I actually predicted that Darren Till was winning that fight. I expected him to do what he was doing in the first round for all five rounds. Again, this is the sport we compete in and anything can happen.”
“Wonderboy” likened Till’s loss to Masvidal to his own defeat to Anthony Pettis.
“He got caught just like I got caught,” remarked Thomson. “I was beating Anthony Pettis. I know nine times out of 10 I would have defeated him. It’s just that one time you barely get clipped and down you go. I had Darren Till winning that fight, but in the end Masvidal ended up putting it on him. Then again, Masvidal is a veteran of the game, so you’ve got to be ready at all times, just like Anthony Pettis was.”
“You gotta be ready in this game,” he added. “Like when Michael Bisping knocked out Luke Rockhold. I thought…everybody thought that Luke Rockhold would go out there and just smoke him and then Luke Rockhold got clipped.”
Thompson still feels as though he did enough to beat Thompson at the Echo Arena last May.
“When I look back on it I do think I won it, but it’s nothing that really sits on me. Whatever happened happened and all I can do is just keep moving forward. I really do think I went out there and put on a show, enough to get that win, but it just goes to show that you can’t leave it in the judges’ hands sometimes. It’s behind me and I’m ready to move forward, just like I am with this fight against Anthony [Pettis],” he said.
“Hats off to my man Darren Till. I hope he’s taking the last loss well. I know he got in trouble not so long ago, and hopefully he’s learned from it.”
“I’d love to step back out there with my man Darren Till,” Thompson continued. “I think we put on a show last time, so of course, I would love to [fight him again]. To be honest, any one of those guys that I’ve stepped in the Octagon with — Darren Till, Anthony Pettis, Tyron Woodley — I would love to step back in the Octagon with those guys.”
“If that happens, heck yeah,” said Thompson on the possibility of the Till rematch. “We’re both coming off knockout losses. You never know, things could line up that way.”
The striking ace also commented on how recent victories, including Kamaru Usman’s dethroning of Tyron Woodley, have reinvigorated the division.
“For a little while the welterweight division was kind of stagnant. There was the whole debacle with Tyron Woodley, Colby Covington and Kamaru Usman, we weren’t really sure who would be fighting for the title next. Nobody was taking a whole load of fights, it was kind of stagnant,” he explained.
“Now that Usman has won, Masvidal knocked out Darren Till and Anthony Pettis has knocked out me, the division is kind of crazy right now. I actually thought Tyron was going to win, but Usman really put on an excellent performance. I don’t think that the same-minded Tyron Woodley that I faced, faced Usman. For some reason, he just felt kind of off in that fight. It was almost like he didn’t want to be out there. I don’t know if his mind was somewhere else, I know he’s pursuing his rap and music, I really don’t know. That said, Usman did exactly what he said he was going to do and he really went out there and took it to Tyron.”
Check out the latest episode of Eurobash. The Stephen Thompson interview begins at 12:50.