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‘I’m not scared of anyone’: Till shocks Thompson at UFC Liverpool

‘I’m not scared of anyone’: Till shocks Thompson at UFC Liverpool
Darren Till (left) had problems making the weight for the fight but overcame those issues to emerge victorious in his home city

Home fighter Darren Till shocked the welterweight number one contender Stephen Thompson by unanimous decision at UFC Liverpool.

In a cagey fight neither man took a heavy shot until the last round when Till landed a big left, rocking Thompson to the floor.

“Wonderboy” recovered, but Till took the fight 48-47 on one card and 49-46 on the other two.

“I want everyone and anyone next, I’m not scared of anyone,” said Till.

The win takes the undefeated Till’s record to 17 wins, with a world title shot now looking likely.

The fight had been in doubt when Till failed to make the 171lb weight limit on Saturday, but Thompson agreed to the fight as long as his opponent weighed less than 188lb and gave up 30% of his purse.

Till told BT Sport: “I played games. I know he thinks I’m an aggressive fighter but I’m also a calm fighter.

“He is a phenomenal striker and I’ve never fought a striker like that. I had to use every part of my brain to work him out.

“To all the doubters, yes! Who is doubting me now? No one! No one!”

Thompson said: “I had no excuses. It was like running into a brick wall.

“I’m going to go back and definitely learn from this. But hats off to Darren.”

Till moved to Brazil when he was 19 to hone his skills and escape “distractions” in Liverpool

It was the first time the UFC had visited Liverpool, and the noise that greeted both men was deafening.

The fight took its time to ignite though. Both counter punchers, they waited for the other to make a mistake.

Thompson seemed to be getting the edge, just managing to lure Till to come forward then meeting him with a quick jab, but the Liverpudlian never looked flustered.

Instead, he grew in confidence, and kept coming forward, looking more and more aggressive.

The fight needed a big moment and it arrived in the fifth when Till landed a left overhand. Thompson got back up and expected a barrage of punches, but Till looked content to feint and weave and see the fight out, confident he had done enough on the judges’ scorecards.

“For me, the fight kept on getting better,” said former UFC fighter Brad Pickett, part of BBC Radio 5 live sports extra’s commentary team. “It kept warming up and warming up. The last two rounds were phenomenal.

“I did not want the fight to stop.”

Earlier on the bill, Suffolk’s Arnold Allen took his UFC record to four wins from four when he submitted Denmark’s Mads Burnell.

Allen had looked second best for much of the fight, but managed to lock in a power guillotine to take the win in the final round.

England’s Darren Stewart beat Eric Spicey by technical knockout, but Craig White lost on his UFC debut to Neil Magny in the first round.

In the prelims, Liverpool’s Molly McCann also lost by submission in the second round to Canada’s Gillian Robertson.

Birmingham’s Tom Breese scored a first-round knockout over Australia’s Daniel Kelly, but Somerset’s Bradley Scott lost by decision to Carlo Pedersol.

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