Opinion: Why Fighters Shouldn’t Fight While Hurt

Darren Till is coming off of a loss to Derek Brunson in the most recent Fight Night card’s main event. There were many questions before the fight concerning why Till didn’t pull out, his shape, motivation, and his ability to withstand the wrestling of Brunson. 


He couldn’t. 


Till vs Brunson


Till would be outworked on the ground after a few early 1-2’s. He would be taken down with ease and Brunson picked a place on Till’s right eye to throw elbows on. In desperation mode, Till turned over, looking to get up. In hindsight this wasn’t the best idea. He exposed his back to Brunson, who quickly took it, secured hooks, and sank the rear naked choke. Till tapped immediately. An in depth analysis can be found here on MMA Island.


A few days after the fight, it was reported that Till had suffered a torn ACL 10 weeks out from his fight. Surely after hearing about an injury like that you would want to pull out, correct? This was not the case for the Liverpool native, who begged his coach to give it two more weeks and check his progress. 


Well that 2 weeks turned into the whole training camp, and Till went on to make the walk to the octagon.


With a blown knee and a recovering collarbone injury, things were not looking good for Till on the outside. During the fight, Till’s injuries seemed to be bothering him. He didn’t throw nearly as many kicks as we are used to from the scouser. He looked a little hesitant, and that is not Darren Till. 


Why Fight Injured?

Till stares down his opponent, Derek Brunson/via MMAFighting.com


Of course, props to Darren Till for fighting through a gruesome injury. But why? Some may say his inactivity would be a factor and his itch to get back into the octagon could have pushed him to fight through it. It just doesn’t make sense though.


Till, someone who has had huge aspirations for the middleweight belt ever since he joined the division, just sacrificed his rank and his ability to be just “one win away” from his long-awaited title shot. If he had pulled out of the fight to take care of his knee, he would most likely keep his position in the rankings. 


Now, he will need at least two wins to even insert himself into the conversation of contenders. Why put yourself in a worse position?


Understandably, he could have been fighting for a pay day. Long layoffs mean long times without a UFC paycheck, and Till may have needed his money. But you have to believe that he has another type of income besides fight paychecks, whether it be endorsement deals or investments he’s made. 


Now someone like Vince Murdock, semi finalist on The Ultimate Fighter’s 29th season, needed to fight through it. He had a broken hand and had blown out his knee. Vince needed to continue on or else he would be replaced just like Miles Hunsinger was. 

Brady Hiestand punches an injured Vince Murdock/via UFC.com

Regardless, it can be said that fighters will always have another day to perform, and it just does not make sense to fight while seriously injured. 


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