Darren Till caused an MCL tear to Stephen Thompson’s left knee after repeatedly landing a side kick in the opening round, and ‘Wonderboy’ believes Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) should look to prohibit that technique from being used in the Octagon.
Thompson, who dropped a unanimous decision to Till in ‘The Gorilla’s’ hometown of Liverpool, England, is forced to sit on the sidelines for at least eight weeks and feels the Liverpudlian was intentionally trying to cause injury at UFC Fight Night 130.
“You know I tore my MCL in the fight with Till,” Thompson told BJ Penn.com’s Chris Taylor in a recent interview. “We did an MRI and thankfully nothing else was damaged. No surgery is required for this injury but I have to give it at least eight weeks to heal properly before I can get back to training.
“I honestly think that strike should be made illegal,” the former welterweight title challenger continued. “It could end somebody’s career. You know Robert Whittaker had to have ACL surgery following his first fight with Yoel Romero due to that particular strike. And as you could see, Robert Whittaker made sure to beat Yoel Romero to the punch in their second fight. He threw a lot more than he did this time around. It is just a very dangerous technique. I think a lot of fighters throw that strike but sometimes it is for different reasons. When I fought Jorge Masvidal he used that same side kick to the knee. But when Jorge threw it, he was doing so just to keep me away. Not in an attempt to injure my knee. But when I was in the cage fighting Till it felt like ok this guy is trying to break my leg. It was like he had intentions of ripping everything out in my knee. That’s how I felt anyway. Like this dude is really trying to injure me in here. I think it an ugly strike and that it should be made illegal.”
Robert Whittaker did find a home for the sidekick against Yoel Romero at UFC 225, but there’s been no report on whether the technique caused injury to ‘The Soldier of God’s’ knee. Both men were admitted to the hospital after engaging in a back-and-forth, five-round war in the championship main event, which saw ‘The Reaper’ retain his middleweight title at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.
It’s unlikely that Thompson’s request will be granted by the UFC, given that submission holds such as leg locks and knee bars can also cause serious long-term injuries.
The former No. 1 contender dropped two spots to No. 3 after his loss to Till, and dropped another spot to No. 4 after Colby Covington beat Rafael dos Anjos to win the interim welterweight title at UFC 225.