Thompson Edges Till in a Thrilling Chess Match
The karate master, Stephen Thompson enters as a -130 favourite while the comeback for the surging challenger Darren Till is +105. Money is coming in on both fighters in what looks to be a tightly contested affair. Both men are elite strikers who aren't just technical but fast and powerful.
This might just be the best striker versus striker fight this year.
Thompson is the best striker in all of MMA. This isn't hyperbole. Combining kempo karate with kickboxing, Thompson mastered the art of distance control and has utilized it to either outpoint or knock out his opponents. He holds a KO victory over middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and a decision victory over Bellator champion Rory Macdonald. He was one round shy from winning the welterweight title. Twice.
Till doesn't have Thompson's resume but the proud scouser is a decorated Muay Thai fighter who moved to Brazil to master the art. His one-round KO victory over Donald Cerrone opened people's eyes and what he lacks in experience he more than makes up for with his youthful vigour and swagger.
This is a battle between a masterful defensive striker in Thompson versus an aggressive striker in Till. While Thompson has the technical edge, Till will have the home crowd on his side and with both being incredibly hard to finish, we might be in for interesting judges' scorecards.
But as close as the fight seems on paper, Thompson's body of work is just too difficult to pick against.
Thompson vs Till Betting Trends & Tidbits
Support has been going back-and-forth for Thompson and Till but more on the underdog. In some books, Till has been bet down to pick'em odds though betting history is not on the side of the scouser. A decision should be expected based on Thompson's recent trends.
- Thompson opened at -165 and his line has been bet up by 15.2% since
- Till opened at +125 and his line has been bet down by 18.9% since
- Main event UFC fighters who opened as favourites are 10-4 in 2018
- Thompson's last four fights ended in a decision
- Till is 2-0-1 in his last three fights when he opened as an underdog
This is a game of cat-and-mouse. Thompson will work around Till looking to avoid his power shots while managing distance with his kicks and jabs. Till will look to cut the cage and swarm Thompson keeping him off balance to prevent him from dictating the pace. Whichever fighter can implement their strategy for majority of the fight, wins.
While Till may sway some judges thanks to the raucous arena who will cheer everything he does, Thompson's movement and diversity will be too frustrating for the Liverpudlian. Thompson can attack from more angles and his feints can keep Till from finding a rhythm, which all works in favour of his defensive approach.
Prediction: fans expecting a knockout may be disappointed as this will be five rounds of intricate fighting. Thompson gets the edge and should win a tight decision by controlling the fight potential hairy situations early in the fight.
Our Record: 15-6
UFC Fight Night: Thompson vs Till Fight Card Predictions
All betting odds via Sports Interaction.
Lock it Up: For Elias Theodorou (-460) versus Trevor Smith (+310). Between being a ring card boy and other ventures, Theodorou is still a rising middleweight contender. Against Smith, he fights a guy who is shopworn and lacks consistent finishing power. Theodorou should win this easily using a combination of his Muay Thai and wrestling.
Our Record: 15-6
Underdog Pick: Brad Scott (+145) is a solid upset pick over newcomer Carlo Pedersoli (-190). The Englishman is a middleweight coming down to welterweight and Pedersoli is more of a lightweight. Provided Scott has no issues weight cutting, he'll be the bigger fighter who's had a full training camp. Fighting on home turf is an extra advantage too.
Our Record: 9-9
Don't Bet on It: Lina Lansberg (-145) versus Gina Mazany (+110); while this should be a fun fight which favours Lansberg, neither fighter is good or reliable enough to place any money on. Lansberg is a decent kickboxer but has questionable fight IQ while Mazany just doesn't stand out anywhere. Don't even think about it. Just pass.
Main Card (TSN 5, 1:00 PM ET)
- Welterweight (170 lbs): #1 Stephen Thompson (-130) vs #8 Darren Till (+105)
- Welterweight (170 lbs): #9 Neil Magny (-635) vs Craige White (+415)
- Featherweight (145 lbs): Arnold Allen (-260) vs Mads Burnell (+195)
- Featherweight (145 lbs): Jason Knight (-170) vs Makwan Amirkhani (+135)
- Welterweight (170 lbs): Claudio Silva (+285) vs Nordine Taleb (-410)
- Middleweight (185 lbs): Eric Spicely (-155) vs Darren Stewart (+120)
Prelims (Fight Network, 11:00 AM ET)
- Welterweight (170 lbs): Daniel Kelly (+285) vs Tom Breese (-410)
- Women's Bantamweight (135 lbs): #14 Lina Lansberg (-145) vs #15 Gina Mazany (+110)
- Welterweight (170 lbs): Brad Scott (+145) vs Carlo Pedersoli (-190)
- Women's Flyweight (125 lbs): Gillian Robertson (+150) vs Molly McCann (-190)
Prelims (UFC Fight Pass, 10:00 AM ET)
- Middleweight (185 lbs): #15 Elias Theodorou (-450) vs Trevor Smith (+310)
Best Online Sportsbooks for UFC/MMA
This rare Sunday afternoon card is a delight for Canadians who get to watch on TSN on a slow afternoon. English cards then to be exciting with plenty of finishes. While watching, many turn to these online sportsbooks to bet on their favourite fighters including local favourites Elias Theodorou and Nordine Taleb.
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