Ray Longo

Ray Longo on Darren Till against Stephen Thompson: “Cheating by missing weight, did nothing”

Now that the controversial UFC Fight Night 130 main event has passed, and Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson has spoken his piece about the way the fight ended, you’d think nobody else would care right?

Wrong! It just so happens that Thompson isn’t the only person that feels a certain way about how the bout the Darren Till went down but only this person isn’t afraid to expressing his feelings because after all, he’s the person who’s responsible for preparing an making sure fighters are focused in order earn decisive victory. The man I’m talking about is the always entertaining yet colorful head coach of Serra-Longo MMA Ray Longo. Longo much like the rest of us witnessed the three round battle this past Saturday and to no surprise took up for ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson being that a lot of people believe he should’ve walked away from London with the win. Longo made a guest appearance on the Anik and Florian podcast to give his view of the whole situation.

“I really thought it was an easy fight to score – minimum three rounds to two for Wonderboy, maybe four,” Longo said.

“When they announced those scores – 49-46 – I thought it was definitely him. It’s not an exciting fight, a very tactical chess game, but I just think that Darren Till did nothing. It’s not even what Wonderboy did, it’s what Darren Till didn’t do. Add in the fact that he missed weight, I just think it’s a no win situation for him in that fight.

“It was a close fight, there’s no question about that, but I just don’t know how you give any of those first three rounds to Darren Till. I looked at one or two rounds over again and it’s just weird. He really didn’t do anything. There was a lot of posturing. Wonderboy at least caught him coming in a couple of times, I thought. I guess you can’t leave it to the judges.”

Another obvious reason why Longo supports Thompson so adamantly, is because Thompson has working connection with the team throughout the years, having trained/sparred often with former UFC Middleweight Champion Chris Weidman. The other reason that makes this issue so outrageous is what actually happened before the fight even happened as it was discovered that Till missed weight causing the fight to be moved to catchweight. Being that this was the case, it highly upset Longo as he sees fighters constantly missing weight being just as worse taking PED’s in order gain an edge when stepping inside the octagon.

“I think they’re gonna have to readdress this because at the end of the day it’s cheating,” Longo said.

“There’s a higher percentage of wins with guys that don’t make weight than there are with guys that are on PEDs. They’re like 50-50 or even worse. They’re not even winning and they’re literally cheating. These guys [who miss weight] are cheaters at this point. If they’re not doing performance-enhancing drugs, they’ve figured out another way to make it. This guy was willing to give away his whole purse, what does that tell you? He wanted to give away not 20 percent, he wanted to give away his whole purse. So they really have to come up with something because this looks like a problem.

“It’s just not right and everybody’s already forgotten about it. He didn’t make weight and they already moved past that. It’s not two years down the line, it’s two days down the line. It’s actually two days. It’s already over. Nobody mentions the weight at this point. They’re gonna have to come up with something because it looks like it’s worth a couple thousand dollars here and there.”

Embarrassed by the error, Till humbly offered to give Wonderboy his entire fight purse but was only required to give him 30 percent, and it seemed that is was all for good as he was able to defeat Thompson when the dust settled. As a result of the victory Till now finds himself at #2 in the UFC Welterweight division with Wonderboy sliding to #3, possibly putting himself in place for future world title match or #1 contender fight. Longo though believes should Till get the opportunity to vie for the Welterweight crown, his weight issues could be a huge negative for him moving forward.

“This was a big fight for that kid and I think it’s a red flag for what’s to come in the future,” Longo said.

“Even though he got the W, he’s really acting like he did something tremendous. He really didn’t do anything until the fifth round. I do think he’s a talented guy, big strong kid, and he’s gonna bring it so I’m curious to see what happens with him in the future but that fight, I thought, was an easy fight to score and I would’ve scored that for Wonderboy without a doubt.”

Do you agree with Ray Longo’s evaluation of Darren Till?

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George Kennebrew