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Fight Night Liverpool: Darren Till – ‘I Knew I Could Go Five Easily’

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Hear from Darren Till after his unanimous decision victory over Stephen Thompson at Fight Night Liverpool.

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The Exchange: Robert Whittaker Preview

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Watch the full episode of The Exchange: Robert Whittaker on UFC FIGHT PASS: https://www.ufc.tv/video/the-exchange-robert-whittaker.

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Fight Night Liverpool: Darren Till Octagon Interview

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Darren Till defeated top welterweight contender Stephen Thompson in the main event of UFC Fight Night Liverpool. Watch Till's emotional Octagon interview where he discusses the performance and calls out his doubters.

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UFC Fight Night Liverpool: Post-fight Press Conference

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Watch the Fight Night Liverpool Post-fight Press Conference live following the event.

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Fight Night Liverpool: Neil Magny Octagon Interview

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Neil Magny defeated UFC newcomer Craig White by TKO in the first round in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night Liverpool. Watch Magny's Octagon interview where he discusses a cause he is contributing to and calls out rising welterweight Kamaru Usman.

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Spicely hitting his prime in time for Liverpool

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By Thomas Gerbasi
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Eric Spicely has never been one to follow conventional thinking. Moving back to Montreal…in December…no less, kept him in that free thinkers club.

“I really felt disconnected,” the Rhode Islander said of his move from Las Vegas to Montreal. “I missed winter, I missed the people in the northeast. There is a sense of love and empathy here that is like no other place. I’m from six hours away in Rhode Island and I’m an east coast guy. I felt like it was time to come home. Tristar is one of the best gyms in the world and from the day I walked back in it was like I had never left.”

Spicely’s return to Quebec comes after a brief stay in Vegas in which he continued to evolve as a fighter and made some good friends, but just wasn’t happy there.

“That’s a huge factor,” he said. “There’s a lot of negative energy there and not so great people I’d rather not surround myself with. I’m lucky to finally be at a point in my life where I’m not stuck.”

While still friends with coach John Wood, at 31, Spicely has reached the point in his life and career where having everything is more important than having one good thing surrounded by ten others you have to settle on. And after back-to-back losses to Antonio Carlos Junior and Gerald Meerschaert, the time was right to go back to the place where he was when he won his two UFC bouts over Thiago Santos and Alessio Di Chirico.

“I think you always need to make changes and strive for improvement,” he said. “That’s why I travel so much and train everywhere I can. There’s so much good information out there and I love learning. Losses help you see what you need to work on in a very explicit way. As much as I hate losing, it’s been my biggest proponent for becoming a better fighter.”

Spicely was in both of the fights he lost and wasn’t just blown out of the water, and while that’s little consolation when losing means getting half your paycheck, he’s been in the game long enough to know that if you don’t take some positives from defeats, you’re going to sink into a hole you might never climb out of.

“Losing sucks any time, but there’s nothing you can do except learn from it, otherwise it will eat you alive,” Spicely said. “Take the good and the bad and grow from it. Every time I’ve lost I’ve grown immensely. Of course, I wish I could wish I could go undefeated but I wouldn’t be where I am right now and I’m happy with my growth.”

Where he is right now is at a crossroads as he prepares to meet Darren Stewart in Liverpool. With a 2-3 record in the Octagon, a win is a fresh start while a loss makes it three straight. But Spicely feels good at the moment and he’s settled in as Sunday approaches.

“This is my sixth fight and I remember the first fight and the feelings,” he said. “Not knowing anyone, not knowing who to ask if I needed something, where to go, what to do. The UFC has really become a second home and I have made a lot of friends that work there. It feels like family. At first, I was just happy to be here and now I couldn’t imagine fighting for anyone else. I have zero stress when I come into fight week now. I guess I’m a UFC veteran now.”

He laughs, clearly at ease before this pivotal matchup, one that could show off the best version of “Zebrinha” yet.

“I feel like I’m hitting my prime, not only physically, but mentally as well,” he said. “My fight IQ has gone up. I’ve never been scared of hard work but I’ve also learned that working smart is very important. I’m learning what works for me and utilizing that.”

RELATED: Liverpool Fight by Fight PreviewLiverpool Fantasy Cheat Sheet

Sounds like a pretty calm guy about to fight a Brit in England. But don’t forget that Spicely has some pro wrestling experience in his back pocket, so he’s used to dealing with hostile crowds.

“Pro wrestling has helped me embrace whatever role the crowd wants me to play,” he said. “Listening to the audience and being able to accept the boos, as well as the cheers, and keeping your mind clear is an incredible talent. I have fun and don’t take anything personal. It’s all love. They can hate me before the fight because they want ‘their guy’ to win. But once you perform for them they will love you at the end.”

Love, a win and a trip back to Montreal that’s a lot shorter than one back to Vegas? If it all plays out in Spicely’s favor, that’s a great way to spend Memorial Day Weekend. Just don’t say “New year, new me” to him.

“I wouldn’t say it feels like a fresh start,” he said. “I’m the same person, but I think you’ll see a much better version of myself. The same Eric Spicely that fought Thiago Santos and Alessio Di Chirico – confident and laser focused. Just like Montreal and the win column, I know I’ve been a stranger lately but I found my way back home.”

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By Thomas Gerbasi
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‘Wonderboy’ hopes to leave Liverpool with a win & some new fans

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By Thomas Gerbasi
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So he can win fights, get a higher profile and even sign on with IMG Models, and he’s still going to be Mr. Stephen during karate class. But this weekend, there’s a fight to be fought, and Thompson is not only going into the Liverpool lion’s den, but he’s risking that number one ranking against a hungry opponent who would love to take his spot.

But that’s not why he wasn’t initially interested in meeting Till this weekend. It had more to do with his place in the welterweight division.

“It’s kind of weird,” he said of his current status at 170 pounds. “And it’s one of the reasons why I didn’t take this fight to begin with. One, I had two broken thumbs and two, I kind of wanted to see where the division was going. There was a rumor of an interim title and I wanted to see if I was at the top of the list for that. But since that’s not happening, after this fight I’m gonna have to sit back and see what happens from there and who’s gonna be fighting (champion) Tyron (Woodley) next and who wins.”

Thompson has fought the king of the division – Woodley – twice, battling to a Fight of the Night draw in November 2016 before losing a majority decision in their rematch in March 2017. And while he retains the number one contender’s spot, the less than scintillating rematch has left few clamoring for a third bout right now. Then there’s the interim title being fought for by Rafael Dos Anjos and Colby Covington next month in Chicago, with the winner of that fight presumably getting the next crack at Woodley.

So where does that leave Thompson?

“I think it really depends on A) how I go out there and defeat Darren Till and B) who fights Tyron next,” he said. “You’ve got the interim title coming up between RDA and Colby Covington and I think whoever wins that, if they beat Tyron Woodley, then I’ll get that next shot. If Tyron wins, I think I may have to fight one more time in order to seal that deal for that next shot again.”

Thompson vs Covington, just to see “Chaos” turn his trash talking attack on the nicest guy in MMA?

“He can say stuff about me but it doesn’t get to me one bit,” laughs Thompson, who is focused on Sunday, Darren Till, another victory, and maybe an extension of his “no boos” streak.

“Hopefully after this fight, I won’t only leave with a win, but with some fans along with it from Liverpool,” he said.

Then it’s back to karate class next week.

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By Thomas Gerbasi
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Fight Night Liverpool: Official Weigh-In Results

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Fight Night Liverpool, which features a welterweight main event bout between Stephen Thompson and Darren Till, is live on FS1 Sunday May 27, 2018 at 1pm/10am ETPT.
Four prelim bouts will also air on FS1, beginning at 11am/8am ETPT.
A special FIGHT PASS early prelim bout will air beginning at 10:30am/7:30am ETPT.

Five round welterweight main event
Stephen Thompson (171) vs Darren Till (174.5)*

Main Card
Neil Magny (171) vs Craig White (171)
Arnold Allen (146) vs Mads Burnell (146)
Jason Knight (146) vs Makwan Amirkhani (146)
Claudio Silva (170) vs Nordine Taleb (171)
Eric Spicely (186) vs Darren Stewart (186)

FS1 Prelims
Daniel Kelly (186) vs Tom Breese (186)
Lina Lansberg (135) vs Gina Mazany (135)
Brad Scott (171) vs Carlo Pedersoli (170)
Gillian Robertson (125) vs Molly McCann (127)**

FIGHT PASS Early Prelim
Elias Theodorou (186) vs Trevor Smith (186)

**McCann missed weight and will be fined 20% of her purse. She is required to weigh no more than 136 pounds on Sunday.

*Till missed weight and will be fined 30% of his purse. He is required to weigh no more than 188 pounds at 1pm local time on Sunday.

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Fight Night Liverpool: Q&A with Aljamain Sterling

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Fight Night Liverpool: Weigh-in Highlight

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Check out the highlight from the Fight Night Liverpool weigh-in before the action tomorrow on FS1!

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Fight Night Liverpool: Darren Till – ‘I Knew I Could Go Five Easily’

Hear from Darren Till after his unanimous decision victory over Stephen Thompson at Fight Night Liverpool. Powered by WPeMatico

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Watch the full episode of The Exchange: Robert Whittaker on UFC FIGHT PASS: https://www.ufc.tv/video/the-exchange-robert-whittaker. Powered by WPeMatico

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Darren Till defeated top welterweight contender Stephen Thompson in the main event of UFC Fight Night Liverpool. Watch Till's emotional Octagon interview where he...