Darren Till couldn't be more proud that he is the fighter that has helped forced the UFC to bring its production to his hometown of Liverpool, England. But after blowing his weight cut on Saturday, he's certainly not in the position he expected to be in as the hours dwindle down to fight time.
Till was late for the two-hour weigh-in window at the official weigh-in Saturday, but was given a pass because of a family emergency. Unfortunately, even though he was given an added hour to make weight, Till stepped on the scale 3.5 pounds above the limit for his UFC Fight Night 130 main event opposite No. 1 welterweight contender Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson.
After forfeiting 30-percent of his fight purse, the fight with Thompson is still on, with one major caveat: he has to weigh 188 pounds at 1 o'clock on fight day or Thompson could kill the bout.
“There’s never no excuse for missing weight,” Till told MMAJunkie after the ceremonial weigh-in. “I always say it, when you fight, and you lose a fight, there’s no excuse; you lose. Same with the battle with the scales. This time, I lost, and there’s no excuse.
“I missed weight, and I’m truly embarrassed by it, but the fight’s still on, hopefully. I’ve got to weigh in again tomorrow. We’ll see how it goes. I know they’re very adamant I’ve got to weigh a certain weight. The ball’s in their court."
Though Till normally has to weigh 170 pounds on the scale for a welterweight bout, weighing 188 pounds on fight day isn't the easiest thing for him. Like most fighters, he cuts a lot of weight to hit the mark and then puts most of it back on by fight time, which in Till's case means he's well beyond 188 pounds. He's a big welterweight.
At the ceremonial weigh-in, he sounded like hitting the required mark was not going to be easy for him.
“They were adamant I had to weigh in 83 to 85 kilos (roughly 183 to 187 pounds), which just... it’s bad for me health,” Till said. “We’ll see what happens in the morning when I weigh. I’ve already started drinking. I’ve already started filling back up. We’ll see. I’m sure the fight’s on. I’ll have to pass medicals, and I’ll have to train tonight or tomorrow. But I’m mentally prepared for anything. Nothing gets to me in this life. If I do have to train in the morning to make the weight and cut again, I’ll do it.
“Eighty-five kilo tomorrow morning is just not enough. It’s not that it’s not enough. I just put weight on so quick. I’ve got a slow metabolism. I just started drinking before, and it went up like that. So, we’ll see. It could be a mind game. If I have to make the weight, I’ll make it.”
For his part, it sounds as if Thompson just wants the fight to move forward. Of course, his camp is still going to push for Till to make the required weight on Sunday, it forces him to be uncomfortable right up until fight time instead of relaxing, which is a smart move for Thompson.
It doesn't sound, however, like either man is will to let the fight get nixed.
"Very disappointed he didn't make weight. It is what it is, but we're here in Liverpool and we're gonna have some fun tomorrow," Thompson told BT Sport on Saturday.
"All that matters now is that we make this fight happen. Flew all the way out here to put on a show in front of the fans and he doesn't make weight. Obviously, I am disappointed, but hopefully, we'll get things worked out.
"I'm gonna go out there and do what I do best and that's fight. It doesn't matter how big the guy is or small the guy is, we've got one job and I'm here to do it."