Hometown favourite Darren Till took a five-round decision win over Stephen Thompson at UFC Fight Night 130 in Liverpool on Sunday, winning by unanimous decision.
All three judges gave the win to the 25-year-old welterweight, who scored a knockdown in the final round.
It was a close and strategic fight that saw long periods of relative inactivity, and most pundits appeared to hand the edge to Thompson. Till was the aggressor more often, however, and the final round may have played a part.
Ariel Helwani gave the fight to Thompson but could live with the final scores:
UFC Fight Night 130 Results
Darren Till def. Stephen Thompson via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46)
Neil Magny def. Craig White via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:32
Arnold Allen def. Mads Burnell via submission (front choke) – Round 3, 2:41
Makwan Amirkhani def. Jason Knight via decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
Claudio Henrique da Silva def. Nordine Taleb via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 4:31
Darren Stewart def. Eric Spicely via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 1:47
Hometown Cooking for Till?
The Gorilla came into UFC Fight Night 130 with an unbeaten UFC record, but in Wonderboy, he faced his toughest challenge yet. The high-level striker had only lost once in the Octagon in the last five years, and that defeat came against dominant welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
While the two balanced each other out nicely in Liverpool, Thompson's strikes landed a little cleaner, and his ability to counter shone brightly. Till was more active in closing down the Octagon, but a lot of his strikes were glancing blows at best.
He did have a big moment in the final round when he scored the knockdown, and the hometown fans made their voices heard every time he did as little as launch a light jab. There were plenty of fans and pundits who feared what the judges would say:
While several of the rounds were close, it's difficult to justify a card as one-sided as 49-46 for Till. UFC fighter Alex Chambers couldn't believe it:
Good Guy Magny Picks up Dominant Win
Magny barely broke a sweat in his first-round TKO win over White, unleashing a massive knee to his opponent that led to the eventual stoppage.
It was a clinical, impressive performance, but the 30-year-old really got people talking with his post-fight comments.
There was this fantastic gesture:
He also called out Kamaru Usman, who dominated Demian Maia in Chile earlier this month. Whether he's ready for such a challenge is debatable, but after back-to-back wins over Carlos Condit and now White, he's certainly in line for a bigger fight.
Fans Were the Real Winners of Amirkhani vs. Knight Brawl
The fight between Amirkhani and Knight was loaded with expectations, with many fans of the sport expecting an all-out war between the two.
Those who tuned in early to watch Sunday's action from Liverpool for this bout were rewarded with a fantastic contest that had a little bit of everything:
Amirkhani controlled the opening round early before Knight scored two knockdowns, and he opted for a submission attempt rather than finish his visibly shaken opponent with more strikes.
The decision would cost him in a big way as the trash-talking Amirkhani won the next two rounds by controlling the action.
While one of the judges inexplicably scored the fight 30-27 for Knight, the other two got things right even if there would have been few complaints with a 29-28 score the other way.