Roughly six years ago, UFC welterweight Darren Till was nearly stabbed to death during a fight inside a nightclub. Ahead of his scrap with Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson, which headlines the UFC’s debut in his hometown of Liverpool, Till recounted the grim night that he was stabbed.
“There was an incident in a club,” Till said in an interview with RT Sport (h/t Chisanga Malata of Express). “I was always training hard in the gym but I didn’t have much focus. My focus was on other things as well. I was in a club and a fight broke out. ”
“I was in the mix of it and someone stabbed me in the back twice,” Till continued. “Someone stabbed me in my lungs twice. A millimetre away from an artery. And the UFC doctor, actually, he was at the hospital in Liverpool at the time and he came to me when I woke up [and said], ‘Listen, you nearly died.’ And I stayed in the hospital for just two weeks, just recovery time alone thinking, ‘Wow, that could’ve been it.’
“I sort of accepted it outside the club as well. I never said this, but I was outside the club, as someones got their fingers stuck in my wound, I’m sort of thinking. ‘This is it, I might die here.’”
It was this harrowing incident that ultimately led to Till relocating to Brazil, where he lived for three years. He did so under the advice of his coach, who felt a change of scenery would help him focus.
“Them type of moments, you sort of sit back and think, ’That was a close call, Till.’ And then you speak to people who I look up to like a god, like my coach. He said, ‘Listen, you either want to be a world champion or you want to be a waster in life. And there’s plenty of them about in life, but there’s not many champions.’ He gave me the advice to go to Brazil and focus.”
Do you think Darren Till can come out on top against Wonderboy tomorrow night in Liverpool?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/25/2018.