UFC had their first visit to the land of scousers as hometown hero Darren ‘the Gorilla’ Till took on two-time welterweight title challenger Stephen ‘the Wonderboy’ Thompson. The event was a huge success as it reported 8,250 attendance for a massive $1.3 million live gate.
The event was even more glorified when hometown hero Darren Till defeated #1 ranked Stephen Thompson via unanimous decision. However the decision was a controversial one which definitely raised some eyebrows throughout the MMA community.
The judges had it 48-47, 49-46 and 49-46 for Till. Some thought 49-46 to be a disputable call, whereas others thought it to be a complete robbery for Wonderboy and a home coming for Till.
Big John McCarthy came forward to express his opinion on the topic. McCarthy is the senior most referee of the UFC serving as third person since UFC 2 back in 1994 before turning as an announcer for Bellator MMA. He took to Twitter saying, “Sorry but controlling the Octagon does not give you the round. @WonderboyMMA landed the cleaner harder shots in the first 3 rounds. Sad that people that are supposed to know about the sport are lacking greatly in their knowledge of what is scored in a round.” (via Twitter):
Sorry but controlling the Octagon does not give you the round. @WonderboyMMA landed the cleaner harder shots in the first 3 rounds. Sad that people that are supposed to know about the sport are lacking greatly in their knowledge of what is scored in a round #AskBJM
— Big John McCarthy (@JohnMcCarthyMMA) May 27, 2018
The fight was definitely razor thin. The fight could be classified in a lot of categories namely striker vs. striker, Muay Thai vs. Karate, etc and such fights usually turn out to be a chess fight. Till known for his immense power surprisingly came out with a strategy of digging deep. The first two rounds went just into processing and setting traps done by both the fighters. Till however had the octagon control. In the third and fourth rounds, Thompson started pivoting his round house kick and landed counter shots to Till. His movement made it difficult for Till to establish some sort of rhythm. Till managed to get a knockdown in the first round courtesy of punch over the top which seemed to have done the deal for Till. Thompson attempted a rare takedown only to get stuffed by Till.