By Chloe Smith
(Image labelled for copyright usage)
A major international Martial Arts championship is coming to Liverpool for the first time next month.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC, consists of mixed Martial Arts and has been running for 25 years, is normally held in the United States but is coming to the Liverpool Echo Arena.
The fighters for the main event on Sunday, May 27th have been confirmed to be 25-year-old Scouser ‘The Gorilla’ Darren Till, vs 35-year-old Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson.
The commercial director of the ACC Liverpool Group, Ben Williams, said: “We are pleased to welcome UFC to Liverpool and to the Echo Arena for the first time. This is a really exciting time for the city region as combat sports continues to grow in popularity and we host a wide range of local, national and international sporting events so we are the perfect venue partner for a major global event such as the UFC.
“The scalability of our campus venues has helped young local talent to develop and progress to the biggest stage.”
As the UFC has never been to Liverpool before, the pressure will be on for Darren Till to make his city proud, and will be the biggest test yet for him, as he is fighting a more elite fighter in the UFC division. Darren Till, who trains in Wavertree’s Team Kaobon Gym, says there is no way he can be beaten, with the backing of the crowd at the Echo Arena, as it’s his city and he has the chance to win a title against Thompson.
Till is hoping that he has the support of the Scousers behind him and that it will create an atmosphere for Thompson that he is not used to, even though he is a professional UFC welterweight fighter.
Although Darren started off in the Middleweight division in 2013-14, he has brought himself up to fight in the Welterweight division, which is why he wants to win this fight, as he started off as an unknown contender and is now at the number seven Welterweight.
There are expected to be at least five live bouts. The first one is expected to be five rounds for the main event with Darren Till, who does Muay Thai style fighting and Stephen Thompson who does Kickboxing, Jujutsu and Kempo, which should mean that there will be a good fight ahead.
The other fighters are expected to be: Neil Magny vs Gunnar Nelson, Tom Breese vs Daniel Kelly, Trevor Smith vs Elias Theodorou and Brad Scott vs Salim Touahri.
The fight is expected to sell out within minutes when the tickets go out on release on Friday 13th April at 10.00am.
You can purchase your tickets here on Friday 13th April. http://www.echoarena.com/organising-an-event/services/ticketing
(Picture taken by Chloe Smith)