The Weight Cutting Chronicles: UFC Vegas 36

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Darren Till UFC
Darren Till Credit: Marcus Rebelo/Cageside Press

Like it or not, weight-cutting is deeply rooted in mixed martial arts. MMA adopted its weight-cutting from the sport of wrestling, where it is presumed to be very advantageous to be the biggest and strongest in your weight class. Known as the ‘fight before the fight,’ most UFC fighters cut anywhere from 5-25 pounds, with some fighters even in excess of 30 pounds.

Weight-cutting is the ultimate test of discipline and willpower. Many fighters in the sport consider it very unprofessional to miss weight. In this series, we will shine a light on fighters who cut a massive amount of weight, who have missed weight multiple times in the past, who have made weight-class changes, along with how the weight-cut and weigh-in could affect possible upcoming match-ups. Basically, every aspect of weight-cutting and how it affects the fight game.

Darren “The Gorilla” Till (18-3-1 MMA, 6-3-1 UFC)

Welterweight (170lbs): 4-2-1 (UFC), Missed weight 2x, Former UFC Welterweight Title Challenger

Middleweight (185lbs): 1-1 (UFC)

Darren Till is one of the most well-known strikers in the UFC. Till also fittingly has the nickname of “The Gorilla,” as he was so big for his former division of welterweight. Standing 6’0″ tall with a 75″ reach and massive broad shoulders Till is well built and walks around at well over 200lbs.

Till entered the UFC in 2015 in the welterweight division and flew under the radar for a few fights. Till actually missed weight in his second UFC fight back in May of 2017 when he weighed in at 176lbs.

After Till’s coming out party in the form of a first round stoppage win over Donald Cerrone, in October of 2017, he got an opportunity to fight Stephen Thompson. However, Till again missed weight coming in at 174.5lbs for the bout, although he did capture the victory the next day.

With that win, Till was able to challenge then-UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley for the belt, although he would ultimately come up short. After another stoppage loss to Jorge Masvidal in Till’s very next fight, he decided that it was definitely time to abandon his excessive weight cut.

Since then, at middleweight, Darren Till has not yet faced a fighter that is a “true” middleweight as thus far he has just faced Kelvin Gastelum and Robert Whittaker. Both fighters who also moved up from welterweight. Till has looked a lot better on the scale in recent years as a result, and has the added benefit of less time focusing on losing weight in camp, and more time focused on his actual opponent.

This weekend at UFC Vegas 36, Till takes on Derek Brunson in the main event.

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