According to Thompson, a side kick landed by Till in the second round almost completely shattered his knee and caused the momentum to swing in his opponent’s favor.
“It was almost like this dude was trying to put me out,” Thompson told Ariel Helwani on a recent edition of The MMA Hour, per MMA Fighting’s Marc Raimondi. “He hit me in the knee and after that my movement was pretty much out the window. I was more focused on keeping my knee — it was just another thing to think about out there.”
‘Wonderboy’ has had surgery on his left knee several times in the past and is hoping he didn’t sustain enough damage at UFC Liverpool to warrant another operation.
“Hopefully it’s nothing major,” Thompson said. “But it sucks, man. It really does. Disappointed by the whole situation and then coming out of it with an injury like that, it makes it all worse.”
Thompson, a two-time UFC welterweight title challenger, says his knee really flared up in the fifth and final round when Till dropped him with a left hand and landed the biggest strike of the fight.
“It was more trying to keep my leg from collapsing than anything,” he said. “It just really felt unstable in that fifth round.
“I was trying to hit the guy hard, I really was. I just was unable to put myself in a situation to do so.”
Till hit the scales three and a half pounds over the designated 170 pound weight limit and was forced to forfeit 30 percent of his fighter’s purse to Thompson.
Thompson says the Liverpudlian is deceptively heavy for the welterweight division and carries most of his weight in the lower body.
“When you make contact [with an opponent], you can tell you’re pretty much the same size,” he said. “When I would kick or even side kick or even try to punch Darren Till, you could tell that he was a pretty solid dude. You can’t really see it in his upper body, but you can see it in his lower body. He’s thick — thick guy.”
Thompson ended up losing a unanimous decision but many fans feel Till wasn’t deserving of the win. Despite the controversy, Till surged to No. 2 in the official welterweight rankings while Thompson, the former number one contender, dropped two places to No. 3.