The harrowing video of Darren Till’s UFC Liverpool weight cut is causing a stir in the MMA world.
The 25-year-old rising star missed weight by three-and-a-half pounds before his main event bout against Stephen Thompson in his home city of Liverpool, England, forcing him to pay 30 percent of his purse to “Wonderboy” and weigh in at no more than 188 pounds on fight day.
He did those things and went on to win a close, controversial unanimous decision over Till in a call many are still calling hometown cooking almost a week later. However, when video of Till cutting weight (he’s known as the biggest welterweight in the UFC by a sizable margin) was released by his sponsor Paddy Power, a controversy of a different kind arose.
With weight misses seemingly an all-too-common theme at early weigh-ins for every UFC card and the health impacts of huge cuts a growing hot topic in MMA, a prominent combats sports commissioner is calling for Till’s corner to be suspended for putting his health in jeopardy.
Mike Mazzulli, the chief of the Association of Boxing Commissions and the director of the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, told MMAjunkie that Till’s weight cut, where he reportedly lost his vision momentarily and used “colonic hydrotherapy” to lose more weight, that another death from weight cutting is a foregone conclusion if people like Till’s corner continue allowing fighters to go to such extremes. Because of that, he believes Till’s corner should be suspended:
“I was appalled seeing seven people sit there and push this kid to the point where he lost his vision.
“They should suspend those corner people that tried to help him cut that kind of weight, first of all,” he said.
With the video causing so much discussion, the UFC is reportedly investigating Till’s cut. California State Athletic Commission Executive Director Andy Foster, who has long championed efforts to make weight cutting safer in MMA, also plans to make a statement on the disturbing video.
There was talk it’s already time for Till to move up to middleweight even when it’s only known that he missed weight a second time, and the video obviously makes matters significantly worse. If Till were fighting under Mazzulli’s licensing jurisdiction, he said he would have to provide him with a doctor’s note that it was safe for him to compete at welterweight.
But ultimately, he said it was a fighter’s team’s responsibility to protect the safety of their athlete:
“They think it’s OK to do what they did to that kid? They’re going to get him killed,” he said. “Right now, I am so upset at this whole industry.”
Mazzulli closed by saying that the death of a fighter could follow if steps aren’t taken to reduce such drastic cuts, something that would be completely pointless and ridiculous considering it wasn’t even in a fight:
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“You’re going to be sitting there with a girlfriend, with parents, who lost their kid to something so stupid, for no apparent reason,” Mazzulli said. “What’s going to happen is you’re going to have a mother and a father losing their child over weight-cutting to fight – not in a fight.”