Wonderboy goes in-depth about his big welterweight fight with Darren Till in Liverpool next month.
A few months ago when Darren Till emphatically defeated Donald Cerrone, it seemed all but set that the UFC would head to Liverpool and Till would meet fellow striker Stephen Thompson. There was one problem with that though – Wonderboy and his team didn’t think it made any sense for the number-one contender to fight a guy that far below him in the rankings. So they declined.
It took a little while, but the promotion obviously got Thompson on board with the plan. The two men will meet in the headlining fight at UFC Liverpool in May.
Wonderboy was recently a guest on Submission Radio, and discussed his opponent at length. First off, he has no issue with fighting on the road where he will presumably get booed out of the building:
”It puts a smile on my face that, hey, I’m really not a bad guy but I’m gonna be a bad guy this time, you know what I mean. I’m going into enemy territory, everybody’s going to be booing me and crap, and it’s funny. It’s gonna be a pretty cool experience. I mean, I can say 10 to 15 years from now that I went to Liverpool, man and fought this guy in his home town and won (laughs). So, it doesn’t bother me, man, it doesn’t bother me at all. “
He then gave an honest assessment of Till’s striking, and wasn’t totally complimentary. Thompson said he has faced more skilled guys on the feet before, and even referred to Till’s standup game as “predictable”:
“Well, compared to mine, I mean, it’s kind of…I mean, I think I’ve faced better strikers, yes. I think Rory MacDonald is a great striker, I think Jorge Masvidal is an excellent striker. He also put Cerrone out in the first round, knocked him out. I think he knocked out Cerrone and then Darren Till knocked out Cerrone. Yeah, Cerrone was on a three-fight losing streak, I believe, and I think his last opponent was Masvidal before he faced Till.
”He goes out, he predominantly keeps his right side forward, he’s got a mean left hand, he throws his left kick, likes to throw a left elbow and I think that’s it. You know, he’s I think 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.”
Thompson (14-2-1, 9-2-1 UFC) also gave his thoughts on the welterweight interim title fight between Rafael dos Anjos and Colby Covington at UFC 225, and like the rest of us, he doesn’t really get why it’s necessary:
“I don’t think it makes sense to be fighting for an interim title. If he (Tyron Woodley) says he’s going to be ready for July or even August, I mean, that’s like right around the corner. That’ll be here before you know it. So, why fight for an interim title? To me, I understand if he’s out for over a year. Then yeah, I think that should happen. But if he’s just around the corner, man, just say the winner of that will fight for the title. You don’t need an interim title for that. That’s just my opinion.”
He was pretty honest about what he’d think of the interim title idea if he was the one in the bout though:
“I think the way they’re kind of throwing those interim titles out there – of course, if I was fighting for it, if they had me fighting for it then I’d be like, ‘hell yeah, I’ll fight for the interim title’, you know what I mean? Like, who wouldn’t? – but then you could also say, you can stop and just be like, you know, they’re kind of giving them out left and right nowadays. I don’t know if it’s just me, it kind of diminishes the value of the actual title.”
Wonderboy and Till will go at it in the Echo Arena on May 27th at UFC Fight Night 130.