As fans we all marvel at the courage, dedication, toughness and iron will that MMA fighters possess when they are competing, but sometimes the hardest battle comes in the days before the fight as they go through the gruelling process of cutting weight.
Since it mostly happens behind closed doors fans don’t always realize just how draining, damaging and indeed in some cases deadly that can be, and so in this article we’ll pull back the curtain and show just how close to death some fighters have come before they’ve even set foot in the cage.
Darren Till’s brutal weight cut down to 170lbs for his fight with Stephen Thompson at UFC Fight Night 130 in 2018 was documented on a Paddy Power video, and it made for disturbing viewing.
At one point a clearly depleted Till is seen slowly crawling out of the sauna on his hands and knees, and worringly at that stage he still had 50% of his weight cut left to go.
Getting down to welterweight has always been something of a challenge for Till, but unforseen circumstances made it even worse as he had to stop for a family emergency after his pregnant girlfriend had been taken into hospital.
However, Till still returned to continue his weight cut at 5am that morning and things then took an even more sinister turn when he suddenly complained that he couldn’t see while running on the treadmill.
Till then woozily sat down and had to be carried off the machine, with the camera crew being told to stop filming shortly afterwards.
In the end Till would miss weight by 3.5lbs, but the fight was still allowed to continue after Thompson agreed to a catch-weight.
“They’re going to get him killed,” the head of Association of Boxing Commissions, Mike Muzulli said at the time after viewing the footage, which had been posted online and then taken down. Right now, I am so upset at this whole industry.”