Darren Till's life was saved by a quick-thinking bouncer after being stabbed twice in the ribs in a Liverpool nightclub – after he stuck his fingers in.
The former UFC title contender has spoken out about his time learning the sport in his late teens, admitting that he was on both sides of the law before finding fame.
The 30-year-old, who went 18 fights unbeaten before a recent slide, has explained how a bouncer knew what to do after he was stabbed twice in the ribs next to a major artery when he was 19.
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Speaking to Basketball Insiders, Till said: "There was a time when I was training at my gym in Liverpool when I was struggling to make money and I was sort of on both sides of the law you could say.
"It was not a good place to be but I was a terrific fighter and my coach always knew that. I got into a situation in a nightclub where a fight broke out and I got stabbed twice in my ribs.
"I think the blade was centimetres from a major artery and if it had hit that it would’ve seen me bleeding out and dying.
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"To cut a long story short I remember sitting outside the club and seeing a light. I’m not a big believer in God but in that moment I remember thinking it must be my time to go.
"But a security guard from the club stuck his fingers in the wound and he brought me back. It was a brutal moment but it changed my life for the better in the long term."
Till lost in a UFC Welterweight Championship bout against Tyron Woodley back in 2018, since losing five of his next six bouts having returned to middleweight.
Till was submitted by Dricus du Plessis at UFC 282 in December despite promising moments in the Las Vegas meeting – and now wants to reset before getting back in the Octagon.
He said: "I’ve got to work on the aggression factor. In the gym I’m so aggressive. When I got into the Du Plesis fight I had him flinching a lot in the second round and I could see he was terrified.
"I really should’ve stopped him there and then with the power I carry. But for whatever reason I couldn’t pull the trigger and really let it go. So in my mind there’s got to be some mental things I’ve got to work on and tweak a bit."
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