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UFC Fight Night Predictions & Preview: Darren Till vs. Stephen Thompson

The main event of UFC Fight Night 30 will see top undefeated British prospect Darren Till fight top ranked contender Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson in a welterweight showdown. Also featuring on this Liverpool card is another UK vs. USA welterweight clash with Neil Magny visiting to face Craig White on his home turf.

Main Event: Darren Till vs. Stephen Wonderboy Thompson

For Till, this fight is a massive opportunity to establish himself as a top ranked fighter at 170 pounds while for Thompson, it is a chance to add yet another name to his growing list of big wins.

Till needs to employ constant movement and feints interspersed with periods of well-time explosive aggression in order to beat Wonderboy. The 25-year-old has proven himself to be a technical, hard- hitting striker, but he needs to keep the defensive striking wizard that is Thompson constantly on the back foot.

Darren Till Recent Fight Record and Form

Res.

Opponent

Method

Event

Date

Win Donald Cerrone TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Cerrone vs. Till October 21, 2017
Win Bojan Veličković Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Volkov vs. Struve September 2, 2017
Win Jessin Ayari Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Gustafsson vs. Teixeira May 28, 2017
Draw Nicolas Dalby Draw (Majority) UFC Fight Night: Holohan vs. Smolka October 24, 2015
Win Wendell de Oliveira KO (elbows) UFC Fight Night: Condit vs. Alves May 30, 2015

The undefeated 16-0-1 fighter was great at using pressure at stopping Donald Cerrone from employing his game plan, and he must do the same against Stephen Thompson.

Stephen Wonderboy Thompson Recent Fight Record and Form

In order for Thompson to win, he needs to maintain distance and use his usual strategic approach. While Till is advanced in terms of striking, Thompson has a more diverse striking repertoire, and he needs to use this to his advantage in order to nullify Till’s forward pressure.

Till also has a habit of keeping his chin up during his fights. Although that has not worked against him in his MMA career, an accurate striker like Thompson should incorporate that fact into his game plan.

Res.

Opponent

Method

Event

Date

Win Jorge Masvidal Decision (unanimous) UFC 217 November 4, 2017
Loss Tyron Woodley Decision (majority) UFC 209 March 4, 2017
Draw Tyron Woodley Draw (majority) UFC 205 November 12, 2016
Win Rory MacDonald Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs. Thompson June 18, 2016
Win Johny Hendricks TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Hendricks vs. Thompson February 6, 2016

Till vs. Thompson Prediction

Both fighters have similar styles, and they will cancel each other out to make for a highly technical, chess-game like fight that will have its “oh!” moments but could also be unentertaining at times.

Thompson and Till will both have their highlights, but Thompson’s elusiveness and experience could ultimately make the difference in this matchup. The head sides with a Thompson via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) but the heart aches for a vicious Till TKO.

 


Co-Main Event: Neil Magny vs. Craig White

The co-main event of this weekend’s UFC Fight Night 30 sees top ten welterweight Neil Magny go up against UFC debutant Craig White. White took the bout on just 11 days’ notice following the withdrawal of Gunnar Nelson, and it’s a huge opportunity for him to make an immediate splash on the top tier MMA circuit.

Neil Magny Recent Fight Record and Form

Magny is a well-rounded fighter who has shown success fighting from range, up close and on the ground. However, given White’s love of fighting in the clinch and ability to submit opponents off his back, the UFC veteran will be better served striking White from the outside using his long limbs.

Res.

Opponent

Method

Event

Win Carlos Condit Decision (unanimous) UFC 219
Loss Rafael dos Anjos Submission (arm-triangle choke) UFC 215
Win Johny Hendricks Decision (unanimous) UFC 207
Loss Lorenz Larkin TKO (elbows) UFC 202
Win Hector Lombard TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Hunt vs. Mir

By striking from range, Magny will shut down White’s strongest weapons, which could frustrate him and make him try to recklessly move up close. This could allow Magny to hurt White with elbows and knees, which could make for a short fight.

Craig White Recent Fight Record and Form

White, on the other hand, likes to fight gritty and is not afraid to take shots if it means he can get the fight to the ground, where he has a deadly submission game. Instead of brawling and dirty boxing, White will be better placed trying to land takedowns and working his submission game on Magny, who has succumbed to submissions in three of his five UFC losses.

Res.

Opponent

Method

Event

Win Alex Montagnani Submission CW 92 – Cage Warriors 92: Super Saturday
Win Matt Inman TKO CWFC 87 – Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 87
Win Hakon Foss Submission CWFC 84 – Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 84
Win Thomas Robertsen Submission CWFC 80 – Cage Warriors Fighting Championship 80
Loss Mike Shipman TKO ROC 2 – Rise of Champions 2

Magny vs. White Prediction

Like most matches featuring game UFC debutantes, this isn’t a straight forward fights to predict. However, as Daniel Cormier once said, there are levels to this sport and Neil Magny is on a higher level than White at this present moment. Neil Magny via decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

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