Thompson-Till Preview: Fight Night 130 Liverpool


It’s time for some MMA and Scouse! On Sunday, May 27th Fight Night hits Liverpool with a legendary overhand right of entertainment. Let’s look at the main event and check out a Betonline review if you’re looking to bet on the main event.

Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson vs. Darren ‘The Gorilla’ Till

The main event gives us the American, Thompson, 14-2-1 against the Brit, Till, 16-0-1. This could be one of the best striking fights that we’ve seen on Fight Night in a while.

Both of these guys are elite strikers. Till is a bit more on the technical side. The Gorilla uses a really closed stance, putting a lot of weight on his lead leg (almost like McGregor) He likes to strike from distance and very subtly move in and out of range to keep his opponents guessing. He uses the same tactic with his side to side angles. Tight straight punches.

Wonderboy is fantastic at fighting in and out and managing distance as well, but he is much shiftier. He has that constant bounce and shuffle which aids in his ability to strike from drastic angle changes. Where Till could be thought of as more Mayweather-like in is subtle angles and ability to slide just a hair, Thompson has that Lomachenko-like ability to come in straight and then suddenly appear where you least expect him.

Wonderboy has great footwork in that he uses an almost completely neutral stance, even when in close. While stepping forward to throw combination punches, he’ll slide his back leg back up to neutral and then use that open stance to quickly pivot off to either side, where he can attack hard and force his opponent to turn and defend. This is how he gets that roundhouse kick to land so often.

Till is very accurate in his striking. A lot of this comes from his ability to track his opponent’s head movement and anticipate where they’ll be. This allows him to create his own luck, so to speak and not just rely on setting the other fighter up.

I mention this because both of these fighters leave their hands low for takedown prevention and with Till’s speed and accuracy, he might be able to track a few shots right to the sweet spot (Thompson’s jaw) when Wonderboy switches angles. That is of course if Stephen Thompson learned nothing from the Woodley fight and hasn’t practiced keeping one hand up while he slips around the outside.

Ring Management

Till is going to have to manage distance, track Wonderboy well enough to cut the octagon off if he wants to win this fight. If he lets Thompson stay at distance and shift around the ring at will, Wonderboy will eventually catch The Gorilla cold.

But Till has a shot if he can keep the distance close and walk Thompson down. He has to focus on cutting Wonderboy off and take away the advantage he has in open space.

The Odds

Las Vegas and top online books like Betonline have this lined out closely. Till is a very small favorite at -115 to win the fight. Stephen Thompson is listed at -105. The OVER/UNDER on how long fight will go is three-and-a-half rounds (-115).

This sounds about right, I have a feeling this fight ends in the 3rd round so I like the UNDER and honestly, had I lined this fight out I would have opened with Wonderboy a small favorite around -150. So there is definite value to be had by taking Thompson at -105, which is almost even money.

Conclusion

UFC Fight Night’s main event will be an epic striking battle. Either one of these guys could get caught with a shot that ends the fight … but I think Wonderboy will be just a little too much for Till on Sunday.