Earlier in the year, at UFC Fight Night 130, Darren Till beat Stephen Thompson in a competitive five-round bout at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England.
Thompson, who lost a unanimous decision, tore his MCL during the fight and speculated that ‘The Gorilla’ intended to cause serious injury to his knee after repeatedly targeting it with an oblique kick. ‘Wonderboy’ also called for the kicking technique to be banned from competition.
Till, however, who surged into the top-three welterweight rankings after his big win in his hometown, denied any intention of causing lasting harm to Thompson’s leg and thinks the oblique kick is a legitimate technique and should remain legal.
“I saw the interview did,” Till told MTKGlobal in a recent interview of his own. “If he wants leg kicks banned, why don’t we ban spinning head-kicks to the face while we’re at it?
“I was not trying to hurt his knee. I was trying to deaden his leg to stop him using it. That was my strategy. I know he’s had surgery on his left knee and I was not trying to cause him another injury in that area but this is a fight and we’re in the most brutal sport in the world. In my opinion, you can’t really come out and say you want this thing banned or that thing banned.”
Thompson is obviously unhappy with the way things played out on the night and Till is more than happy to oblige him to a rematch.
“If a rematch with Thompson is what the UFC want me to do, I’ll do the rematch,” Till said. “If he wants another fight, it’ll be the different this time. I’ll be much stronger. If he wants it, he can have it. I’m not one for turning down a fight – especially not a rematch.”
Although Till is open to a rematch, it’s more likely that Ultimate Fighting Championship will groom the Liverpudlian for a title shot against the winner of the inevitable championship bout between Tyron Woodley and Colby Covington.