[UPDATE]: Despite Dana White indicating that this bout was essentially a done deal, Stephen Thompson’s father and coach has since stated they currently have no plans on facing Till yet.
The UFC is set to host a matchup between two of the sport’s best strikers at 170 pounds, as Stephen Thompson and Darren Till lock horns in England at UFC on FOX 28 in early 2018. UFC president Dana White announced the news Tuesday evening, with the event set for Feb. 24.
Till is coming off a stunning first-round knockout victory over perennial contender Donald Cerrone, stopping the fan-favorite just four minutes into their bout in Gdansk, Poland at UFC Fight Night 118 in late October. Unranked heading into the bout, the dominant win netted Till the No. 8 spot in a stacked 170-pound division.
It was expected that Till would face fast-rising Mike Perry in his next bout, but it’s clear the UFC had bigger plans for a potential star in the making. It’s unclear where exactly in England the bout will take place, though Till has previously requested a chance to compete in front of his home crowd in Liverpool.
Thompson, ranked second at 170 pounds, was last seen at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden, defeating Jorge Masvidal via unanimous decision. It was “Wonderboy’s” first win since June of last year, following a pair of failed attempts to attain the UFC’s welterweight championship against Tyron Woodley at UFC 205 and 209. Thompson’s first bout against Woodley ended in a majority draw, with his second contest resulting in a majority decision defeat following a lackluster affair.
The two-time title challenger now looks to book himself a third opportunity for UFC gold, needing to take out an unbeaten 24-year-old fighter along the way.