Late last month, Stephen Thompson was pulled back to the losing track when he was outpointed by Darren Till during the UFC’s debut event in Liverpool, England. It was a controversial decision which he believes may have been influenced by the crowd in attendance, all of whom were rooting for the hometown fighter.
During a recent interview on the Slip n’ Dip podcast, Wonderboy revealed that he had actually fought through the second round of the said contest with a torn MCL, which was aggravated by Till’s kicks to his knee.
“In the second round he was really focused on kicking me in the knee,” Thompson recalled (transcript via MMANYTT). “He ended up hitting me in the knee, hyper-extending my knee and I ended up tearing my MCL.”
“About ten years ago, I tore every ligament in my left leg and so after he hit it, I could feel some crunching going on so I backed up and I shook it off. I don’t think I should’ve done that because I think he realized that he was hurting me so he kept going for it.”
Thompson, who dropped two spots to number three at the UFC’s official welterweight rankings after the Till fight, is now looking to move past his recent loss. He intends to do this by fighting a fellow top-five contender like former 170-pound champion Robbie Lawler.
And if it were up to him, the said fight would take place in one of the UFC’s biggest events of the year: Madison Square Garden in November.
“I got fans all the time asking me ‘why don’t you fight Robbie Lawler?’ I think, I got a lot of respect for him and it would be a barnburner,” Thompson said. “He just stands there and wants to bang it out. I love fighting guys like that — without getting hit in the knee of course.”
“Hopefully we can get that shot at MSG, that would be sick.”
The 36-year-old Lawler (28-12, with 1 NC and 21 wins by stoppage), last saw action in December 2017, where he lost to Rafael dos Anjos via unanimous decision.