Does Darren Till have what it takes to beat Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson at today’s UFC Fight Night 130?

I mean, sure, anyone can beat anyone if they land the right punch at the right time, and of course a striker like Till has a likelier chance to do so. But taking the figurative banana peel that Wonderboy would have to slip on out of the equation, can Till do it?

The facts are thus:

  • Till missed weight, and was forced to weigh in under 188 pounds today – which not only negates his ability to fully rehydrate and get back up to his normal fight-time weight, it will make him slightly more depleted.
  • Thompson is an elite fighter. So elite that he’s fought the champ, Tyron Woodley, twice, and both bouts were close ones.
  • Till, on the other hand, has beaten “no names” for much of his Octagon career, and when he beat Donald Cerrone… well, let’s just say Cerrone is smaller and older.
  • Finally, there’s an intangible factor involved in this match-up. The UFC wanted to break into Liverpool, England, and needed hometown hero Till to maximize their market impact. Maybe, just maybe, this is the only reason Till is getting thrust into the spotlight. In other words, he might not be ready for this kind of jump up in competition.

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Technically, Wonderboy’s a much better fighter at distance – his karate background, and ability to maintain range just out of an opponent’s reach, has enabled him to wreck dudes who must get in close to strike.

Till of course has the hometown advantage. He’s going to have all of Liverpool cheering him on. But I can’t recall a fight where that made someone impervious to getting knocked out.

So what do you think – can Till do it?