Sunday’s UFC Liverpool event is in the books, and now that the dust has settled in England, it’s time to go to the scorecard to see who the big winners were at Echo Arena.
1 - Darren Till
Darren Till missed weight for his UFC Liverpool main event, coming in at 174.5 pounds, and his win over Stephen Thompson didn’t provide the visceral thrills that his stoppage of Donald Cerrone did. But “The Gorilla” gets the top spot here because Sunday’s victory was over the number one welterweight contender and it opens the door to even bigger fights. And with Thompson having a notoriously tough style to look good against, the odds are on the side of Till to get back to his action-heavy, finishing ways in the future. And hey, who doesn’t want to see what happens next with Liverpool’s finest?
2 - Neil Magny
Yes, Neil Magny was expected to win big against late replacement Craig White, and he did. And that win won’t likely see the Coloradan rise in the welterweight rankings, but Magny earned his spot here not just for being one of the best 170-pounders in the sport, but being one of the good guys, pound-for-pound, in all of sports. As you’ve read and heard, Magny is donating $15,000 of his purse from yesterday’s fight to help aid in funding the treatment of young Presley Mae O’Doherty, who is battling Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and if that’s not a winner, I don’t know what is. Kudos, Neil.
3 - Tom Breese
For those with short memories, Tom Breese was going to be MMA’s next big thing from England back in 2015-16. Then a loss to Sean Strickland and injuries put a halt to that talk. Well, Mr. Breese made his first start since June 2016 on Sunday, and in his middleweight debut he sent a reminder to the world that he’s still got that championship-level talent. Now it’s up to him to deliver on his potential, but his emphatic stoppage of Daniel Kelly was a good start.
Octagon Interviews: Darren Till | Neil Magny
4 - Gillian Robertson
The party’s over for Gillian Robertson. From here on out, “The Savage” won’t be able to sneak up on anyone at 125 pounds. Prior to this day, Robertson was seen as a raw talent who still had a ways to go in terms of experience to catch up to the veteran members of the flyweight roster. Well, Robertson is now 2-0 with two submissions of Emily Whitmire and Molly McCann, and she has shown herself to be a legitimate threat in the UFC’s newest division. The secret is out – Robertson is for real.
5 - Darren Stewart
If anyone earned a win on Sunday, it was Darren Stewart. Unbeaten as a pro heading into his UFC debut against Francimar Barroso in 2016, “The Dentist” went on to go 0-3 with 1 NC in his first four Octagon bouts. That meant that a loss to Eric Spicely in Liverpool probably meant a trip back to the regional circuit. But Stewart pulled off an impressive second-round TKO victory that put him in the UFC win column for the first time and earned him a Performance of the Night bonus. Now the Londoner has new life in the UFC middleweight division, and it’s impossible not to appreciate the journey that got him here.