Hold the phone on any talk of Stephen Thompson vs. Darren Till just yet. On Tuesday night, Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times reported that UFC president Dana White said he wanted to book the welterweight fight in England next year.
However, Thompson’s father and coach, Ray Thompson, told MMAFighting.com that “Wonderboy” possibly has two broken thumbs, or ligament damage, stemming from his win over Jorge Masvidal this past weekend at UFC 217. Thompson is scheduled to see a doctor Thursday afternoon in South Carolina.
“We’ve talked to no one [about fighting Till],” Ray Thompson added. “Not sure how this is a ‘done deal.’ As for Till, he needs to fight through the murderers’ row at welterweight like ‘Wonderboy’ did to get to the top.
“We want to fight forward. We’ve been calling out [Robbie] Lawler since before the first Woodley fight and have gotten crickets on it. Why? Why hasn’t anyone talked to us about it? No one from the UFC, no one from Lawler’s camp, no one. ‘Wonderboy’ had one of the most fantastic, exciting fights when he fought [Tyron] Woodley at UFC 205. That fight stole the show. The second fight was a snoozefest, mostly because Wonderboy chased Woodley around the Octagon for five rounds. We take part of the blame since we didn’t pull the trigger often enough. Since then we feel like we are being moved out of title contention. Not saying that’s the case but it sure looks that way. What happened to the rankings?”
For his part, Thompson also told MMAFighting.com that he’s yet to be approached about fighting Till at this time.
“These fighters kill themselves with aspirations of being a bonafide, legit champion and work to get up to the level to do that,” Thompson’s father added. “‘Wonderboy’ is one of those guys. If rankings don’t matter anymore then get rid of the title belts and match the fights for the fans and the money, but pay them some real money.
“That being said, Till needs to fight his way up just like ‘Wonderboy’ did. When he takes out the Jake Ellenberger, Johny Hendricks’, Robert Whittaker, Rory MacDonalds and so on, we can talk about fighting.”
Following Thompson’s win over Masvidal at Madison Square Garden, Till tweeted that he’d like to fight Thompson, though sources close to Till say there have been no talks just yet of making that fight happen.
Pugmire later clarified that while White’s original plan was to have Till fight on Feb. 24 in Orlando, the promotion is now hoping to have Till fight in his hometown of Liverpool, which would certainly make sense since he is immensely popular there. The UFC currently has a Fight Night event booked for March 17 in London. According to sources, they’ve looked into booking the Echo Arena in Liverpool for a Till fight, however, no date has been finalized or announced at this time.