Darren Till missed weight last weight by 3-1/2 pounds. But certainly not from lack of trying.
Till’s weight cut ahead of his fight with Stephen Thompson at UFC Liverpool was chronicled in a video released Thursday by his sponsor Paddy Power. Till can be seen unable to stand up in sauna. And at one point he told his coaches he could not see, prompting them to stop the weight-cutting process.
(Editor’s note: The video has been been made private on YouTube. You can watch it here.)
Till, who ended up winning the fight Sunday by close unanimous decision, worked out in a sauna suit the night before weigh-ins, working up a sweat to dehydrate and shed pounds. He then went into a sauna for 45 minutes. After the sauna session, he still needed to cut about 5-1/2 pounds, per the video. He appeared to start the water cut about 11 pounds out of the 170-pound welterweight limit.
Till went back into the sauna again for 10 minutes before getting an “emergency call,” the video stated. He didn’t sleep at all that night and went back to the gym at 5 a.m. to continue cutting. The weigh-in window was between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
The video shows Till running on a treadmill and states that he had to stop, because he could no longer see. Minutes later, the video shows Till, in his sauna suit, laying on the floor saying he still wants to run. His coaches advise him against it.
The video states that Till’s “health got worse” en route to the sauna again and they stopped filming at that time. Till ended up weighing 174.5 pounds. He weighed in heavier a second time after “colonic hydrotherapy,” which the UFC authorized, per the video.
A UFC official told MMA Fighting that the authorization was for an hour extra to make weight and not for the colonic hydrotherapy.
Multiple high-level fighters have had similar videos released showing the horrors of weight cutting, from Cris Cyborg to Paige VanZant to Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Extreme weight cutting and severe dehydration to make weight are issues in MMA that regulators are still having trouble solving.