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UFC rookie drops 45 pounds in two weeks, somehow lives to tell about it

“If people saw a video of my weight cut, it would have made (Darren) Till’s look easy.”

MMA: UFC Fight Night-Liverpool Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

People die from cutting weight.

The fact that it hasn’t happened in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) does not mean it’s any safer for those folks competing inside the Octagon. No matter how skilled the athlete, no matter how much experience a fighter has making his/her mark, the human body has its limitations.

And extreme weight cutting is akin to Russian roulette.

That didn’t stop UFC rookie Craig White from dropping 45 pounds in two weeks, a necessary evil if he was to fight Neil Magny on short notice and earn the opportunity of a lifetime at UFC Liverpool last month across the pond.

Which as he explained to MMA Fighting, required breaking a promise he made to himself back in 2014.

“For the John Redmond fight, I did 17 kilos (37-pounds) in nine days, it was horrendous. I got rid of eight kilos in water that time. I had never used salt baths before that. I genuinely felt like I was going to die when I was walking to the scales that time. Of course, I said I’d never do it again. Then, the phone rings about two weeks before UFC Liverpool and Graham Boylan is asking me if I’m available to fight Neil Magny. In that moment, the Redmond cut was the first thing that crossed my mind. I was doing two 15-minute baths for every hour. I started at eight at night and I didn’t go asleep until two in the morning. Then I got up at five in the morning and I did another four baths. Normally I can do 82 kilos (180-pounds) to 77 kilos (170-pounds) in five or six baths, but it took me 14 [baths] in total to hit weight in Liverpool.”

I know one ex-champion who can relate.

White weighed 216 pounds when he got the call for UFC Liverpool and managed to tip the scale at 171 for the official weigh ins (video). As you might imagine, “Thundercat” was dejected to learn that headliner Darren Till came in heavy, despite having a full camp.

And here you thought this was bad.

Weight-cutting continues to be a hot-button item in the United States and local athletic commissions, particularly in California, are working hard to abolish extreme cuts, something already eliminated in select overseas markets.

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