Darren Till has assured fellow UFC superstar Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson that while he may be the older man in the ring on May 27, he’s not necessarily the wiser one.
Some see Thompson’s greater experience of top-level MMA – specifically his back-to-back world title bouts against Tyron Woodley – as a crucial factor in the clash at Liverpool’s Echo but needless to say, Till isn’t one of them.
Although almost a decade younger than Thompson at 25, Till dismissed suggestions the match-up with Thompson bears any resemblance to Stipe Miocic’s recent victory over the relatively inexperienced heavyweight Francis Ngannou.
Till said: “There’s no doubt Stephen is a top quality fighter with a lot of wisdom but I’ve got plenty as well. I’ve been fighting since I was a kid.
“It’ll be about who’s smartest and quickest on the night and I really believe that. I’m very different from Ngannou. He’s looking for power and he’s not really practising much technique.
“I’m not going out there looking for a big knockout. I’m training very intelligently. Stephen’s been around for longer and will know a few things but I have some ideas of my own and they involve going in there and taking his head off.
“Every fight I want to get fitter, faster and stronger and I’m killing myself in the gym doing so. There can’t be any fails. You can’t teach hard work. I give it my all because you simply can’t cheat in this game.”