Finally, it’s been announced.
It was all the way back in November when Dana White first uttered that Darren Till would take on Stephen Thompson in Liverpool. After lengthy negotiations, a change of location and a big announcement at UFC London, the promotion brought an end to the speculation when they made the May 27 UFC Liverpool main event official on Thursday.
“The Gorilla” visited Dublin during the week to sign a sponsorship deal with Paddy Power, the same bookmaker that sponsored Floyd Mayweather’s weigh-in attire for his boxing match with Conor McGregor.
While Till was in the Irish capital, he sat down with the Obviously Fight Talk podcast, who got the first word from the Liverpudlian welterweight ahead of the biggest fight of his career.
“I think it’s going to be the most interesting fight I’ll ever have in my life, just because of his fight IQ and mine,” Till said. “Let’s see who wins, lets see who’s the best in the division. Now it’s time to see.”
There have been many who have criticized the booking, claiming that Till has bitten off more than he can chew by calling for “Wonderboy” on the back of his knockout over Donald Cerrone.
Till disagrees with his critics. As far as he’s concerned, both he and Thompson have spent most of their lives striking. He also considers Thompson to be on a similar level in terms of grappling.
“Striking-wise, I don’t think it’s too early because I’ve been striking my whole life and so has he,” Till said. “I wouldn’t say [it’s early] in terms of that and even in MMA, I wouldn’t say his wrestling caliber is any better than mine, or his ground game.
“I know he’s got some good training partners — Chris Weidman and that — but I don’t see where he is better than me anywhere. I just think my striking is better than his and I’m going to beat him.”
Till added: “As soon as I beat Stephen everyone will know that I’m the best striker in the welterweight division. As soon as I beat him on the 27th then people can stop talking about my hype train.”
The Team Kaobon fighter finished the interview by giving a prediction.
“Third-round knockout,” he replied when queried about how the fight would end.