The UFC will set up shop in Liverpool, England for the first time in history for UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs Till on May 27. The main event will see hometown favorite Darren Till taking on former title challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.
Not sure who to bet at UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs Till? Don’t worry, we have you covered and bring you the wise leans for some of the notable fights on the card.
Stephen Thompson vs Darren Till
Thompson (-115) is a striker by trade. The karate expert uses his long limbs and wide stance to keep his opponent at a distance where he can properly utilize his kick-based offense. Once Wonderboy dictates the space and pace of the fight, he will wear his opponent down with kicks until he finds a chance to blitz in with a sharp punching combination. Because of space and stance, it is hard to get a clean takedown attempt against Wonderboy.
Till (-115) is a patient striker who builds his game plan around countering. The 25-year-old will pressure his opponent with his footwork but typically waits for his opponent to make a mistake before exploding with a single powerful shot. However, he can be overly patient looking for the perfect punch at times. It’s unlikely he’ll be in search of a takedown but he is pretty good if he can get top control on the ground.
To be frank, I’m not expecting an overly exciting fight. Wonderboy won’t do anything stupid, keeping his distance and picking Till apart. Till believes in his power and will likely be too patient to catch the faster-moving Wonderboy.
Prediction: Stephen Thompson (-115) via decision
Neil Magny vs Craig White
Magny (-550) is massive for the welterweight division, standing six-foot-three with an 80-inch reach. He sometimes fails to use this to his advantage but when he does, Magny is one of the more difficult fighters to match up against. We don’t see the striking as much because of Magny’s love of grappling. Both in the clinch and on the ground, he understands how to utilize his size to take advantage of his opponent.
White (+375) steps in on late notice to take this fight. White, who has been a fixture in Cage Warriors, is a kill-or-be-killed type of fighter with only one of his 21 professional fights going the distance. “The Thundercat” is a solid, offensive fighter who does his best work when a fight is on the mat and he can hunt for submissions. However, his defense in basically every facet is not good.
No need to dance around this – Magny should easily dispatch White. I think White has a chance to be a serviceable fighter in the UFC but he is not nearly prepared to face a fighter of Magny’s level.
Prediction: Neil Magny (-550) via submission
Jason Knight vs Makwan Amirkhani
Knight (-155) is the type of fighter fans can get behind – with high-volume boxing on the feet and an aggressive guard from his back. “The Kid” will happily march forward behind a crisp jab, pressuring his opponent into making bad decisions. Knight can go for the takedown but prefers to force his opponent to do so, allowing him to work his physical brand of jiu-jitsu.
Amirkhani (+125) is an athletic wrestler first and foremost. “Mr. Finland” explodes into takedowns and will relentlessly chase them until he brings his opponent to the mat. On the mat, he is constantly moving and angling in order to either land strikes or look for a submission. In terms of striking, Amirkhani has good power but extremely low output.
This is a tough fight to call. Knight would likely be better off keeping the fight standing and overwhelming Amirkhani but I don’t expect him to. Knight will want to grapple and he will allow himself to be taken down to do so. Once on top, Amirkhani should do enough to squeak out a close win.
Prediction: Makwan Amirkhani (+125) via decision
Eric Spicely vs Darren Stewart
Spicely (-200) is basically a pure grappler. His striking game is competent but he simply doesn’t throw with enough volume for it to matter. Instead, he wants to get inside and use his size and submission acumen to win a fight. His striking defense looks solid on paper but he has never really been tested considering how short his fight time has been in the UFC.
Stewart (+160) is an athletic power puncher who has forged his way to the UFC on the back of knockouts. “The Dentist” is simply not very technically adept in any facet of the game and has relied on natural gifts more than anything else in his MMA career. That has become apparent in the UFC, as he has lost his last three.
The loser of this fight will be cut by the UFC – barring a miracle – which makes it dangerous to predict. Spicely can be knocked out but at least he has a well-defined path to victory, so I lean his way.
Prediction: Eric Spicely (-200) via submission