On the eve of the pivotal welterweight bout between number one ranked Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and number eight ranked Darren “the Gorilla” Till, I reached out to popular Facebook group MMA Freaks, to ask members who they think will be victorious on Sunday evening in Liverpool.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the first three opinions below were given before Saturday morning’s weigh in drama unfolded.
In case you missed it (and if you did, where have you been?!), Till weighed in at 174.5lbs and will forfeit 30% of his purse to Thompson. In addition, Till will weigh in again at 1pm on Sunday before the bus leaves for the arena and must be no heavier than 188lbs.
Take a look at who the fans have picked and why below and let us know who you think will take the win in the comments.
Joey Jacalone – I’m cautiously picking Darren Till. I’m picking Till because as great as Wonderboy is, his style tends to get muted when herded towards the fence. Till, being able to play the role of both the bull and the matador in some fights, I feel can herd Wonderboy towards the fence using feints, which he has shown he is very good at using, and the threat of the left hand. I feel like this will cause many problems for Wonderboy, but I could absolutely be wrong if he can’t get him to the fence.
Anoop Nair – I am picking Wonderboy! Till has not faced this level of competition yet and Wonderboy is a genius at maintaining the distance and keeping his opponents at the end of his punching and kicks! Cardio plays a major factor as well! Wonderboy can go 5 rounds easy with the style but Till has already shown tendency to tire after round 2! It’s either Till KO’s Wonderboy within 2 rounds or Wonderboy will school him for 5 rounds!
Paul Hadley Miller – I’m picking Wonderboy for these reasons:
- Comparing the talent each man has faced in MMA, there is no comparison. Stephen Thompson has by far faced a higher level of MMA talent than Darren Till.
- Till’s destruction of Cowboy Cerrone was a great win and a feather in his cap, but we all know that sometimes, ‘ol Cowboy’s head doesn’t make the trip into the Octagon.
- Besides Cowboy, Till’s UFC wins have been two decisions, a draw, and a TKO – all against middling talent when compared to the talent faced by Thompson.
- Till supposedly has this demigod-like kickboxing record – something like 44-0. But while one used to be able to find reference to it on Wiki and other sources, since he became a hot commodity in the UFC, that kickboxing record has mysteriously been scrubbed from any record I can find, leading me to think that it was unverified, and once Till became known, UFC handlers made sure that a false kickboxing record was not hanging out there to tarnish their rising star.
- Experience. Stephen Thompson has gone 10 rounds with Tyron Woodley, has weathered the storm, and was not finished.
- I am completely open to Darren Till proving me wrong. But with the information we have at our disposal at this moment, there doesn’t seem to be any logical reason to assume he’s going to beat Wonderboy Thompson.
Gregory Dorvil (MMAMotion) – In light of recent events, I’m picking Wonderboy to win via TKO. The weigh in complications will likely take their toll on Till, especially facing someone like Wonderboy.
Brad Dalrymple (MMAMotion) – I’m picking Till to win by KO in round 1 – I feel with Darren working on his usual forward pressure and distance control he will move quickly inside from the offset, close the distance and catch him early. That extra weight should prove very useful. Even Wonderboy will struggle to keep him at bay.
Thanks to MMA Freaks and specifically Joey, Anoop and Paul, Gregory and Brad for taking the time to provide their thoughts on the main event.