In MMA’s latest Sam and Diane (or Ross and Rachel if you prefer), the “will they or won’t they” story of Darren Till and Stephen Thompson has begun.
Just after news began making the rounds that Stephen Thompson was set to face Darren Till in England this coming February, Thompon’s camp has pressed the brakes. Speaking to MMAFighting after White had let the news slip (via the L.A. Times Lance Pugmire), Ray Thompson, ‘Wonderboy’s’ father/coach, said that “We’ve talked to no one” about a fight with Till.
“Not sure how this is a ‘done deal'” he added. “As for Till, he needs to fight through the murderers row at welterweight like ‘Wonderboy’ did to get to the top.”
Bringing up the UFC’s rankings, the elder Thompson stated that “We want to fight forward.” Which would exclude a fight with Till. Till is ranked eighth in the UFC’s official rankings. Thompson is second. A fight with Robbie Lawler was singled out as the more appealing option by Ray Thompson — though he has a bout against Rafael dos Anjos in December that is believed the be a title eliminator.
Still, whether Thompson fights Till, Lalwer, or someone else, his coach feels “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?”
Even should the Till fight eventually happen, it remains to be seen whether the February date White had in mind will work. Per MMA Fighting, the welterweight striking star has issues with both thumbs, with possible breaks or ligament damage, and will be seeing a doctor regarding the injuries next week.