UFC Liverpool Preview: The Gorilla Vs. Wonderboy Sounds like a pretty G Rated action film.

The UFC Octagon visits Liverpool, England for the first time on Sunday afternoon as Darren “The Gorilla” Till headlines his hometown card against Striking expert and two time Title Challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. I fully Expect to see fireworks between these Two highly touted strikers.

Middleweight: Eric Spicely (-210) Vs. Darren Stewart (+180)

Eric Spicely returns to the octagon after losing to Gerald Meerschaert by a brutal body kick. Overall, Spicely is 2-3 in the UFC with both of his wins coming via submission over the likes of Alessio Di Chirico and Thiago Santos, in which he pulled off possibly the Upset of the year in 2016. Darren Stewart is 0-3 in the UFC with one No Contest. He was originally 7-0 when he made his promotional debut. Now after three straight losses, he needs a win more than ever. This matchup is the classic Striker Vs. Grappler matchup, in matchups like this, the grappler usually ends up on top in the end, both figuratively and literally. Two of Stewart’s losses have come via Submission and the Black Belt Spicely should be able to make that three. Eric Spicely Def. Darren Stewart

Bantamweight: Manny Bermudez (-210) Vs. Davey Grant (+180)

Manny Bermudez makes his second promotional walk on the road when he faces the Englander Davey Grant. Grant was a finalist on TUF:18 where he lost to Chris Holdsworth, he followed up that performance with an impressive win over Marlon Vera, but then lost to Damian Stasiak shortly after. Grant has now been on the bench for the last twenty months and I feel as if that will be a significant disadvantage. Manny Bermudez is 11-0 in MMA and won his promotional debut over Albert Morales back in February, and has eight wins via submission on his resume. Davey Grant’s losses have been by submission and while Grant’s attack on the ground has been exceptional over his career, his defense has not been. I believe that Bermudez will take the victory and I’m not just saying this because he is a Massachusetts boy (Seriously though, we may have played youth sports against each other, I am that close with him in age), Manny Bermudez Def. Davey Grant

Featherweight: Jason Knight (-148) Vs. Makwan Amirkhani (+128)

Jason Knight was on a four-fight win streak back in July when he took on Ricardo Lamas, in that fight he got his brakes beaten off of him. He then proceeded to take a loss to Gabriel Benitez in a fight in which Knight bit Benitez’ in the fingers. Makwan Amirkhani has not fought since a split decision loss to Arnold Allen and is 3-1 in the UFC. Amirkhani’s most famous win was a 0:08 second knockout over Andy Ogle. Since both fighters are coming off of losses, I don’t see too much of an advantage for either fighter. Jason Knight’s travel distance is much further than Amirkhani’s and in a fight that I deem to be very close, that may be the difference. Makwan Amirkhani Def. Jason Knight

Featherweight: Arnold Allen (-260) Vs. Mads Burnell (+220)

Arnold Allen is 3-0 in the UFC with his premier victory being over the aforementioned Makwan Amirkhani, his other UFC victories are over Yaotzin Meza and Alan Omer. Mads Burnell is 1-1 in the UFC with his lone win being over Mike Santiago, it also should be noted that the loss on his record was to current Welterweight Michel Prazeres, so the size advantage was clearly not there for Burnell. Still, I have Arnold Allen winning this fight. Allen’s grappling statistics are far better than Burnell’s. Arnold Allen Def. Mads Burnell

Welterweight: Neil Magny (-500) Vs. Craig White (+385)

The number 9 ranked welterweight in the world Magny is taking on Craig White with little to no knowledge about the “Thundercat”. Magny’s original opponent was the Icelander Gunnar Nelson, who pulled out of the fight due to a Knee Injury. Neil Magny looked incredible in his last bout against Carlos Condit. Now, Typically I’d feel like White would have a shot against Magny. Magny underrated Lorenz Larkin at UFC 202 and Larkin went on to finish him in the first round, I could see the same thing happen in this fight. I believe that Magny will win despite this because White’s 14-7 record is underwhelming. Neil Magny Def. Craig White

Welterweight: Darren Till (-118) Vs. Stephen Thompson (-102)

Boy, have I been looking forward to this fight. The Pride of Liverpool Darren Till gets to defend home turf against multiple time world Kickboxing champion Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. I love it when you get a Striker Vs. Striker battle and that’s what we have to look forward to on Sunday. Darren Till’s confidence in himself isn’t rehearsed like Colby Covington or false like Ronda Rousey’s, it’s 100% real uncorrupted confidence. The way that he dismantled Donald Cerrone within one round built his confidence up to another level. Stephen Thompson is 1-1-1 in his last three fights. His Loss and Draw were to Tyron Woodley and oddly enough their first fight was incredible while their second fight was just terrible. Thompson did just take a victory over Jorge Masvidal back in November so “Wonderboy” does have some momentum coming into this fight. I believe this fight in a well-drawn out war and in the end Darren Till will get his hand raised by a close decision. Thompson’s loss will not move him too far down the ladder at 170 however as I can see him still being very relevant in the division and may one day challenge for the title again. Darren Till Def. Stephen Thompson

Other Selections:

Welterweight: Nordine Taleb (-285) Def. Claudio Silva (+245) WAR NORDINE!!!

Middleweight: Dan Kelly (+235) Def. Tom Breese (-275)

Welterweight: Carlo Pedersoli (-170) Jr. Def. Bradley Scott (+145)

Women’s Flyweight: Molly McCann (-220) Def. Gillian Robertson (+180)

Middleweight: Elias Theodorou (-400) Def. Trevor Smith (+330)

Women’s Bantamweight: Gina Mazany (+102) Def. Lina Lansberg (-122)

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