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UFC Liverpool: Till can cash in on hometown backing

Cian Carroll | 23 May 2018

Profiles and fight predictions ahead of the clash…

UFC Liverpool takes place this Saturday in front of a sell-out crowd at the Echo Arena.

It’s the first time the city has held a UFC event. And by all accounts, the buzz around the area is phenomenal.

But there’s another reason why the build-up has hit fever pitch. Hometown MMA phenom Darren Till finally gets a shot at glory as he takes on UFC star, Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson.

There’s a decent undercard on during the night, too. Neil Magny is up against UFC newcomer Craig White, while Arnold Allen clashes with Mads Burnell in a good featherweight bout.

But the Coral News Team focus their concentration on the headline event of the night.

Till to come of age?

It’s been a while coming but the 25-year-old finally gets to showcase his talent on a world stage. And not just that, but against one of the UFC’s best welterweights, too.

Till specialises in Muay Thai and that expertise should mean an exciting fight. The Liverpudlian is a proper come-forward fighter with an aggressive style and a mean left hand.

Based in Brazil for a number of years, Till possesses natural timing and tends to judge distance incredibly well. In a lot of ways, he’s not dissimilar to Conor McGregor.

However, this will be his first time up against a UFC pound-for-pounder. It’s going to be intriguing to see how he handles the step up in class.

Experienced Wonderboy

Stephen Thompson goes into the lion’s den once again this Saturday night. But the American has been there and done it before on enemy turf.

The South Carolina native beat Rory McDonald in the headline event in Canada back in 2016. The 35-year-old is also a fearsome striker and fantastically conditioned.

Five of his last seven fights have all gone the distance. And that included two title fights against welterweight champion, Tyron Woodley. Wonderboy lost the re-match after a draw between the pair in the first bout – although many thought he won that fight.

Thompson has so much experience going into this fight and that will stand him in good stead if the going gets tough.

Fight Prediction

To be clear, this is an incredibly difficult fight to call due to the unknowns. Can Till cut it at this level? Or will Thompson wilt in the face of an onslaught from an opponent ten years his junior?

The Coral News Team are going with the former. Till talks a good game, but you get the impression he has supreme confidence in his own ability.

There’ll be 18,000 rabid home fans cheering him on. And there’s a distinct feeling this could resemble UFC Dublin back in 2014 when McGregor smoked Diego Brandao in front of a baying Irish crowd.

That jolted the Notorious’ UFC career and a similar turn of events could make a star of Till on US shores.

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