Darren Till couldn’t believe his ears when he heard his UFC Liverpool opponent Stephen Thompson evaluate his fighting ability.
At the recent 25th anniversary press conference, Till was supposed to face off with “Wonderboy” for the first time since their Echo Arena main event was announced.
Although he couldn’t attend the event due to a family issue, “The Gorilla” remarked that he would have liked to have the opportunity to “put the fear of God” in the decorated kickboxer.
“I was gutted I couldn’t make it,” Till told MMA Fighting.
“It would have been good to put the fear of God in him, wouldn’t it? I only watched some bits of [the 25th anniversary press conference]. I know people wanted me to be there, but I really couldn’t be there. I know people wanted to see me face off with Stephen and what would happen, but don’t worry that’s all coming.”
Usually known for his cordial approach to fights, Thompson shocked a lot of people when he announced that he has been unimpressed with the “overconfident” Liverpudlian on a recent episode of The MMA Hour.
Till was pretty baffled by Thompson’s assessment too.
“I did see it. I really didn’t think it was Stephen Thompson when I was listening to him. He usually comes across as a good, respectful guy when he’s talking about his opponents,” Till said.
“Why is he talking like that about me? Is he upset that he had to take the fight against me? You know, I’m a nobody as far as some people are concerned, but I really didn’t think that was the real Stephen Thompson.”
Thompson claimed he was looking forward to competing in front of Till’s hometown crowd, which made the undefeated Brit question if the former title contender knows what he has signed up for.
“I really don’t know what to say about that. Nobody has ever seen a Liverpool card in the UFC. I know we’ve seen Cage Warriors and that’s a good enough show on its own, but let’s see how he feels when he’s walking into the lion’s den.
“It’s going to be fun for me…and it might be fun for him too. We’re going to go in there and try to kill each other. Based on what he said I don’t think he knows what Liverpool people are all about,” he said.
Some fans have pondered why the undefeated welterweight has been booked against such a highly ranked fighter in his backyard. According to Till, he has no interest in taking an easy road with the UFC and will always take the biggest challenges that are available.
“I don’t want a walk in the park. I want to fight the best. Let’s get one thing straight, I’m not in this to make money and to win belts, f*ck all that. I’m in this to be a legend and to be the greatest fighter ever,” he said.
“At the end of the day everyone in the UFC is a good fighter, but here I am fighting the No. 1 guy in my hometown. If I beat him does that make me No. 1? We’ll see. I want a big challenge. I want to test myself. I’m not scared of anyone and I’m not scared of Stephen, no way.”
Leon Edwards believes that the success of UFC Liverpool depends on Till having his hand raised. The Team Kaobon fighter thinks that bringing a UFC event to Liverpool is a success in itself.
“I’m going in there to fight. With Leon, I don’t know if he’s right or wrong, but I’m going in there to fight to the best of my ability, and I know I’m going to win. I don’t know that the success of the event depends on me winning. Even making this happen was a big deal. It hasn’t even happened yet, and it’s already a success.
“Nobody is going to stop me in front of my hometown crowd. I know it’s going to be a success on May 27th,” stated Till.
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