UFC Liverpool tips: Best bets for Thompson v Till
We make our picks for the main event and two other fights on the card as the Octagon arrives on Merseyside for the first time.
Stephen Thompson v Darren Till
It could be a double celebration for Liverpool this week, as hometown fighter Till gets his big chance in the UFC 24 hours after the Champions League final.
Till comes into his first main event on the back of a three-fight winning streak, with his most recent victory coming via first-round TKO against long-time welterweight contender Donald Cerrone in October.
The undefeated 25-year-old now boasts a record of 16 wins and one draw, and deserves his shot at the top-ranked Thompson after knocking out 10 opponents to date.
Till’s a rugged, dangerous fighter, but he might struggle to implement his high-pressure style against an elite striker like Thompson.
The American has only lost to Matt Brown and current champion Tyron Woodley in 17 fights, and eased to a points decision against Jorge Masvidal last time out.
He is arguably the hardest welterweight to hit in the UFC, using his 75-inch reach and karate style to hold opponents off and score points at will.
Till could score a knockout if he manages to catch Thompson on the chin, but it’s more likely that the more experienced man fights intelligently for all five rounds and takes a decision win on enemy turf.
Neil Magny v Craig White
UFC veteran Magny was supposed to fight Gunnar Nelson this weekend, but the Icelander was forced to pull out through injury and has been replaced by newcomer White.
The Englishman has won eight of his last 10 fights, with the only defeats in that period coming in middleweight bouts, and he’s shown a real proficiency on the mat with nine career submissions.
This looks to be too big a step up for the 27-year-old, though.
Magny has lost two of his last four fights but has appeared 18 times in the UFC, and his length and wrestling ability make him a handful even for the best fighters in the division.
Expect the 30-year-old to control the distance on the feet and use his size to fend off White’s opportunistic submission attempts.
Arnold Allen v Mads Burnell
Allen has been tipped as a future champion by former UFC welterweight and fellow Englishman Dan Hardy, and the 24-year-old has been very impressive so far with three wins from three in the Octagon.
The Englishman beat Makwan Amirkhani – his most accomplished opponent to date – by split decision last time out, and he combines great striking with a solid ground game.
He should have too much for Burnell, who is a durable all-round fighter but doesn’t have the stand-up game to go toe-to-toe with Allen for three rounds.
Expect Allen to keep the fight on the feet and score the ninth stoppage win of his career.
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