Darren Till just edged out an extremely tense striking battle with Stephen Thompson on the scorecards tonight at UFC Fight Night 130 in his hometown, Liverpool.
Both fighters feinting at each other as they begin. Leg kick for Till. Thompson moving backwards, but still throws up a head kick that doesn’t quite find the mark.
Till trying to take the center of the cage and tries a head kick of his own that misses. ‘Wonderboy’ with a high body kick.
Another head kick comes up short for Till. Side kick from Thompson as Till closes distance. leg kick for Thompson.
Another leg kick for Till. Nothing too hard, just looking to land. Good body kick for Till, but then Thompson counters with a couple of punches down the pipe.
Leg kick again for Till with more on it this time. Thompson looks for hooks then steps back out of danger. Side kick for THompson to maintain range. Now a nice body punch.
Spinning backfist attempt from Till. Thompson just keeping out of range of Till’s punches. He lands a low leg kick. Tense fight at this stage, neigher fighter over-commiting at this stage.
Till just gets away from a kick upstairs. Final seconds of the round with both men still watching, waiting for the perfect moment to strike.
Till with harder punches to start the second round. Thompson with a head kick that only just misses and you can see from Till’s face that was close.
Side kick to the body for Thompson. Brief clinch with Till landing a knee to the body. Both look to land a punch. A matter of inches at times here.
Thompson tries to flurry but Till clinches and tries for the knee again. They separate. Oblique kicks for Till. Thompson misses with a head kick attempt.
Kick from Till countered by a left hand from Thompson. A couple of punches connect for Thompson, but not much on them.
Till steps in then just gets back out of range as Thompson tries for the head kick. Thompson back into range and Till roughly shoves him away.
Very little to separate the two fighters at this stage. Till mostly taking the center of the Octagon, but neither landing with much frequency. Definitely a strategic chess match at this stage. Kick connects for Thompson towards the end of the round.
Both fighters with kicks to the leg to start. Till pushing forward and lands a punch. Till just gets out of the way of a head kick.
Till pumps out the jab. Body punch for THompson. Now a right hand as Till comes forward. Till looking to piece together a couple of punches himself.
Punch for Till and then one lands immediately on the counter from Thompson and gets a nod from his opponent. Till opens his arms wide and gets the crowd excited, but as he looks to punch Thompson does another good counter.
Front kick to the body from Till. Good three-piece combo upstairs followed by a kick from THompson. Leg kick from Till.
One-two for Thompson but there’s an eyepoke in there and that forces a brief stoppage.
Left hand for Till followed by a side kick to the body. Good punch connects for Till. He’s fired up now, but the round comes to an end.
Thompson with a right hand to start. Till tries for a head kick, but it doesn’t connect. Good leg kick for Till and THompson fires back with a flurry of punches, but most don’t find a home.
Right hand sneaks through for Thompson. Now it’s Till who lands with a left hand. Another swift combo from Thompson coming up a bit short.
Inside leg kick for Till. Stepping jab for Thompson. Right hook partially lands for Till. Till misses with a hook, but clinches up and moves Thompson to the cage.
Elbow from Till as Thompson gets back to the center of the cage. Body kick for Thompson. Right hand from Thompson grazes Till’s face.
Till thinks about a spinning attack, but disengages from it. Two jabs get through from Till. Body punch for Thompson. Low leg kick for him now. Short right hand for THompson. Till pressing forward aggressively and lands a punch.
Leg kick for Till. Now one for Thompson. kick lands to the chest from Thompson. Another kick to the lead leg from Till.
Barely anything to separate these two at this stage. Can one land something big in the final round? Punch for Till. He works a couple of side kicks.
Thompson thinks about a spinning attack but decides against it. Spinning kick from Till doesn’t connect but gets a glove touch from Thompson. Lots of respect between these two.
Body kick from Thompson. Double jab for Till. He lands again with a left hand and Thompson drops momentarily! However, Thompson quickly gets back to his feet. That was the biggest moment in the fight so far though!
Right hand for Thompson. He lands another right and then a solid left behind it. Thompson dives into a takedown and lands it but Till immediately stands.
Both men still cautious even at this late stage as they feint from range and that’s it, we’re heading to a decision verdict here.
What a close fight here then, but Till was the one attempting to take the fight to Thompson more and floored him briefly in the final round, which has helped convince the judges to award him a unanimous decision victory (48-47, 49-46 x2).