Stephen Thompson’s father and coach Ray is not interested in fighting Darren Till anytime soon.
After a big win against Jorge Masvidal at UFC 217 this weekend, opportunities have opened up for Stephen Thompson. On Tuesday, UFC president Dana White announced that “Wonderboy” would be next matched-up against Darren Till, in an event targeted to take place in England on February 24th.
Thompson’s father and coach Ray, however, is not too keen on the idea. Speaking to MMA Fighting on Wednesday, the elder Thompson says Till’s first round TKO win over Donald Cerrone in Poland in late October is not enough.
“We’ve talked to no one [about fighting Till],” Ray Thompson said. “Not sure how this is a ‘done deal.’ As for Till, he needs to fight through the murderers’ row at welterweight like ‘Wonderboy’ did to get to the top.”
“We want to fight forward,” he added. “We’ve been calling out Robbie Lawler since before the first Woodley fight and have gotten crickets on it. Why? Why hasn’t anyone talked to us about it? No one from the UFC, no one from Lawler’s camp, no one.”
Ray further argued that his son is deserving of at least better monetary compensation if he would not be getting good match-ups.
‘Wonderboy’ had one of the most fantastic, exciting fights when he fought Tyron Woodley at UFC 205,” he said. “That fight stole the show. The second fight was a snoozefest, mostly because Wonderboy chased Woodley around the Octagon for five rounds. We take part of the blame since we didn’t pull the trigger often enough. Since then we feel like we are being moved out of title contention. Not saying that’s the case but it sure looks that way. What happened to the rankings?”
“These fighters kill themselves with aspirations of being a bonafide, legit champion and work to get up to the level to do that. ‘Wonderboy’ is one of those guys. If rankings don’t matter anymore then get rid of the title belts and match the fights for the fans and the money, but pay them some real money.”
As for Till, Ray says the 24-year-old fighter should work his way up the ladder first, before even being considered as a possible opponent.
“When he takes out the Jake Ellenbergers, Johny Hendricks, Robert Whittakers, Rory MacDonalds and so on, we can talk about fighting.”