UFC Fight Night 130 Betting Breakdown: Stephen Thompson vs. Darren Till

Prior to each UFC fight card, Jay Primetown takes a look at some of the key contests at each event. In the latest installment, we look at the co-main event of UFC 205 as Tyron Woodley defends his welterweight title for the first time against challenger Stephen Thompson.

Stephen Thompson (Record: 13-2-1, -124 Favorite, Power Ranking: A)

Stephen Thompson has quickly moved his way up the rankings of the welterweight division, having come ever so close to the welterweight title in two fights with champion Tyron Woodley. He’s beaten some of the top fighters in MMA, including longtime welterweight contender Rory MacDonald and current middleweight champion Robert Whittaker.

A fifth-degree black belt in kempo karate and a black belt in American kickboxing, Thompson is one of the most gifted strikers in MMA. Thompson has a 57-0 record in kickboxing and was at one time considered the best kickboxer in the United States and arguably in the world. He has been training in martial arts since he was a child and continues to show that skill set in MMA. It took him some time to develop a more well-rounded approach for MMA, but he has found his stride. He’s put on some muscle and has developed some stout takedown defense (78 percent). Former NCAA wrestling champion Hendricks was unable to take Thompson down showing just how good his defensive wrestling is. On the feet, Thompson has very good footwork and a lot of variety in his strikes. As one would expect with his background, he keeps distance exceptionally well and opponents struggle to get inside and force him into a different kind of fight. Thompson is able to pepper his opponents with kicks and he combines his hands well too. He lands at a very good clip of 3.81 significant strikes per minute. His changing of stances and his offensive approach are difficult to predict, as he absorbs just 2.66 strikes per minute.

Darren Till (Record: 16-0-1, -106 Underdog, Power Ranking: B+)

The Liverpool-born fighter has quickly moved up the UFC rankings putting himself in position as a contender for the welterweight championship. He rose to prominence with a flawless performance against Donald Cerrone in a first round knockout win in October 2017.

The talented Englishman started his training in England in muay thai as a teenager before spending 3.5 years in Brazil prior to his return to England and rise in the UFC. Till’s game begins and ends with his striking prowess. He’s a southpaw through and through. He has some similarities to Conor McGregor in that he uses a lot of feints and has good footwork to setup his big left cross. That is his signature punch and the one that his opponents need to watch out for. Till is an excellent striker from his left side, but offers very little attack from his right. One can make the case that he’s a one sided fighter and it will be intriguing to see just how well he can deal with a multi-faceted fighter. Overall, Till has modest volume landing 3.18 significant strikes per minute, but lands at a high clip of 52%. He’s accurate when he does throw, but being so one sided keeps his volume low. Till has very good takedown defense with a 82% success rate. He hasn’t been tested on the ground during his time in the UFC.


An exciting welterweight clash serves as the main event of UFC Fight Night 130 as Stephen Thompson travels across the Atlantic to take on Darren Till in his hometown of Liverpool, England. This is a matchup between a kickboxer and a muay thai striker in a compelling battle. Till certainly has a size and strength advantage, but Thompson has been striking his entire life and his striking talent is at a level above anyone else in the welterweight division. That’s not to say he can’t be caught in a fight, but he certainly has an advantage in any prolonged striking exchanges. With that said, Darren Till had a difficult weight cut and missed weight by 3.5 pounds. He was even given an additional hour to try and make the weight and he still missed. Fighters who have missed weight are undefeated this year having gone 6-0 in fights at the catchweight.  There are a lot of advantages for Thompson in this fight, but fighting someone who missed weight, in his hometown, and the crowd behind him makes it very difficult to place a bet on the more technical, more experienced striker. This fight sets up well for live betting as Till will be at his best in the opening round. The longer this fight goes, the more it favors Thompson and that’s where I’ll be looking to enter the market beyond the first five or 10 minutes.

Written by Jay Primetown

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