LOS ANGELES — Rafael dos Anjos knows a thing or two about tough weight cuts. Yet he said he felt some “shock” when watching a video chronicling Darren Till’s grueling weight cut before UFC Liverpool last weekend.
Dos Anjos said Friday at a UFC 225 media day that he doesn’t believe Till is long for the welterweight division. Dos Anjos moved up from lightweight to welterweight when cutting weight became too oppressive and he believes Till will do similar.
“I don’t see him fighting very long in this welterweight division,” dos Anjos said. “Every time you make weight, it gets harder and harder and harder. I’ve been there before. I feel like every time I made 155, it was getting harder and harder harder every time. That’s gonna happen to him and he’s gonna go to 185 eventually.”
Till, 25, missed weight by 3-1/2 pounds ahead of the fight with Stephen Thompson. The video, put out by Till’s sponsor, was taken down Friday. It showed Till unable to stand on his own power after doing cardio and sitting in a sauna to shed pounds. At one point, Till had to stop cutting weight, because he said he could no longer see.
“He didn’t make weight, after all that,” dos Anjos said. “And we could not even watch the whole video, right? And he was 3-1/2 pounds over — off the extra pound. If he would fight for a title, it would be 4-1/2 pounds. He’s a great fighter, a young guy. But he’s going to go to 185 eventually.”
Till ended up beating Thompson by unanimous decision in a key welterweight fight. Dos Anjos faces Colby Covington at UFC 225 on June 9 in Chicago in a bout for the interim welterweight title.
Dos Anjos, the former lightweight champion, has had a lot of success since moving up to 170. The 33-year-old Brazilian has won three in a row and is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Robbie Lawler at UFC on FOX 26 last December.
Dos Anjos (28-9) said he made the decision to leave lightweight after a brutal weight cut ahead of his title defense against Eddie Alvarez, which he lost by first-round TKO.
“I passed out three times and I went out and went back,” dos Anjos said. “I did that probably three times. One of the times, I was out for three minutes. I almost, when I fell back on the bathtub, I almost hit the back of my head on the sink. I could have died. And that was a fight that I shouldn’t fight. But everything happens for a reason. I did it and I lost and I learned a lot from it.”
Dos Anjos fought one more time at 155, what ended up being a decision loss to Tony Ferguson. That, too, was a bad weight cut, he said.
“After I made weight, I couldn’t stand up for like 40 minutes to one hour,” dos Anjos said. “I lied down on the ground, on the hallway of the hotel, by my room, by my room’s door. The guy said, ‘OK, Rafa, it’s time to make weight.’ I couldn’t stand up. I just couldn’t walk. But I did it.”
Eventually, dos Anjos believes that Till will make the decision that he did — that his health and future well-being are too important to continue risking them with extreme weight cutting and severe dehydration.
“It doesn’t make any sense,” dos Anjos said. “I’m passing through this, getting dehydrated, almost dying to the next day getting punched in the head. It just don’t make sense. I’ve gotta make changes. I think it was the best thing I did.”