The true extent of Darren Till’s gruelling cut to make the UFC welterweight limit has been laid bare in harrowing footage.
Shot in 2018 before his main event at UFC Liverpool against Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, Till can be seen collapsing at several occasions and even losing vision completely.
The footage, which was shot by Paddy Power before the 2018 fight, was quickly deleted at the time and then resurfaced.
However, Till released the full video to his Instagram page to show just how difficult it was to get down to 170lbs (12st 2lb).
Regular sauna sessions, pad work whilst dehydrated and even napping in multiple layers saw Till lose 2.5kg in one night, before a family emergency forced him away.
When he returned at 5am the next morning to the Kaobon Gym in Liverpool, he was back on the treadmill but shortly after lost his vision.
The ‘Gorilla’ may not have made weight, but he did win a five-round decision against the former welterweight title contender in his home city.
Speaking to ESPN after UFC Liverpool, Till said: “There was an agreement that they were allowed to film, and I don’t know what went on in terms of releasing the video but there’s no hard feelings. I just think it was too early to release it.
“I came off social media for a few days, but I know the video didn’t get a lot of good feedback. It wasn’t as bad as what people think because there were other things circling around that weight cut. I saw it [the video] but it was just after the fight, so I didn’t pay much attention to it. I was just basking in the ambience of UFC Liverpool.
“I was cutting weight, stopped running and sort of felt a bit dizzy because I was up early, and I didn’t have any food all night or water and I was still trying to cut weight. So it wasn’t that I couldn’t see or I was in a bad way, I just felt dizzy.
“You know anytime you try and stand up too quick? That’s sort of how I felt.
“I didn’t lose sight. I was just feeling dizzy. It was five o’clock in the morning and I was up all night and I’d been back and forth to the hospital and then in the sauna.
I just felt dizzy and I said to my coach, ‘give me a minute’, and he said, ‘I don’t think you can carry on running, let’s just give you a little rest’, and that was it. Obviously, the video makes it look a little bit worse but it wasn’t in any way bad.”
After back-to-back defeats to Tyron Woodley and Jorge Masvidal, Till made the decision to leave the weight cuts behind and move up to middleweight.
In his first fight at 185lbs, he defeated Kelvin Gastelum at UFC 244 in Madison Square Garden last November.