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The Worst Weight Cut of my career
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The Worst Weight Cut of my career

After my biggest career win in October 2017 against current Rajadamnern and Thailand champion Rungnarai Kiatmoo9 I was given the call to fight yet another stadium superstar in Wanchalong PK Saenchai who was current Lumpinee and Channel 7 champion at the time.
We were scheduled to fight in December in China on ‘Top King World Series’. Beating Rungnarai was a career highlight for sure but this fight was even bigger!
I started my fight camp in Norway with head coach of Norwegian Combat Academy Thom Whillock before heading to Petchyindee Academy in Bangkok to finish the last 4 weeks of the camp.

The big problem was the Tanadet fight was at 53kg which I had not made for about 3/4 years.
After hours of sitting in stand still traffic I arrived at my home away from home, Petchyindee, but it wasn’t the arrival I was expecting – the boss of the gym (Boat) welcomed me in to the gym with some bad news – that Top King World Series had been cancelled and my fight with Wanchalong was now not going ahead – gutted was an understatement! However the lucky thing about being sponsored by Petchyindee is that they are the biggest promoters in Thailand so Boat went to work and tried to find me a match.
After a lot of negotiations, let downs and changes to the opponent we finally got Tanadet Tor Pran49 to accept the fight. Tanadet had fought and beaten some of the biggest names at his weight so it was a great replacement fight, the big problem was his manager wanted me to cut down to 117lbs (53kg) which I had not made for about 3/4 years. I knew it was going to be a tough cut but really under estimated how hard it actually was going to be especially as I now only had 2 weeks to make the weight.
I always struggled with cutting weight in Thailand as you weigh in on the same day as the fight.
I always struggled with cutting weight in Thailand as you weigh in on the same day as the fight and struggled to track what I was eating and how many calories I was eating.
It’s always been a case of “do it how the Thais do it” which is a week before the fight put the sweat suit on and run in the blistering heat twice a day and just cut down on food day by day.
So Monday morning comes when it was time to get the sweat suit out I checked my weight in the morning… 61kg! I had 8kg to cut and was fighting on the Friday.
Dan McGowan and Savvas Michael Dan McGowan and Savvas Michael
My heart dropped and I thought “maybe I have bit off more than I can chew here” but I cracked on and luckily had my man Savvas Michael to share the experience with me as he was fighting the same day on the same card.
It was going relatively smoothly the weight was shifting quicker than expected I was eating a Thai dish called Suki twice a day which is some sort of Thai soup which is actually very nice but after this experience I can’t bring myself to eat it ever again.
It got to Wednesday and I was starting to struggle I was still only about 58kg and I was trying to force myself to eat this suki, gagging on it when I was eating it and the runs in the 35 degrees heat were getting tougher and tougher.
I woke up Thursday and still had 4kg to lose after cutting from 61kg I was feeling tired and lethargic and just simply sick of cutting weight.
I stumbled around the gym trying to find the energy and motivation to put my sweat suit back on, I had the infamous Pig (Ben Lucas) there to uplift me along with Savvas so we got on our way. About 20mins in to the run I came to a stop my body just wouldn’t allow me to carry on, I had Savvas saying “push yourself bro” which was pissing me off even more because I literally couldn’t push anymore – Ben on the other hand just held me up and just stayed quiet.
I had lost about 1.5kg in that run which was so so disheartening. I went to sleep and woke up at 4pm to go out again… I had 3.5kg to lose from now (4pm) til 6am the next morning and I was already completely drained, again I dragged my sorry ass out of bed and went out for the run.
I slowly plodded along until I collapsed on the side of the road I was exhausted and so dehydrated
I say went out for the run I had enough energy to run for 5mins before having to stop and walk for most of the route, Petchdam urged me on near the end to keep on running so I slowly plodded along until I collapsed on the side of the road I was exhausted and so dehydrated I had no money to buy any water so Pecthdam ran to the shop and bought me a bottle of water I genuinely thought I was going to end up in hospital at this point.
I took my sweat suit off and Pecthdam and Savvas put both my arms around them and carried me back to the gym.
It was one of the worst experiences I have ever had and all I kept thinking was the exact same thing happened to former opponent (who then turned in to a friend of mine) Jordan Coe – he passed away due to these crazy methods of trying to lose weight in Thailand, lucky for me I had Petchdam, Savvas and Ben Lucas to help me through it.
When I got back to the gym I managed to slump myself on the scales I had lost 3kg without barely running and I also had a big bottle of water so no wonder my body gave up on me.
Dan McGowan v Tanadet weigh in

Dan McGowan v Tanadet weigh in

Wanchalong PK Saenchai v Dan McGowan fight poster

Wanchalong PK Saenchai v Dan McGowan fight poster

That night I facetimed my dad he was shocked at how gaunt I looked, “you look like shit boy” is the phrase that came out of his mouth I am pretty sure. And I moaned to him that I had nothing left to give and if I was slightly over in the morning I will refuse to lose anymore.
The morning came and I was 300 grams over the weight… do you think I refused to run anymore? Obviously not!
How am I going to get through the fight feeling like this?
So to put it in to perspective its 5:30am on Friday I am fighting at around 6/7pm that night yet I was running round Rangsit stadium and was blowing out of my ass after 2 minutes of running I was in such a bad way. “How am I going to get through the fight feeling like this?” Is what was going through my head as I nearly cried myself to fight weight.
I jumped on the scales again completely naked with Thai TV cameras just filming me, at this point I did not give a shit about anything I just needed water and needed it quick! I made the weight 53kg! But before being able to relax I had to do interviews and photoshoots for the TV again, before rushing back and getting put on an IV drip.

This is the final part of a nightmare story (which had a happy ending luckily)…
I only had half of the IV drip in the end which was terrible considering the weight cut I just had.
In Thailand no health and safety really exists so one of the trainers put the IV drip needle in to my vein this is standard in Thailand if you know you know, however the needle had slipped out of my vein whilst I was asleep and I was awakened by a bad pain in my arm, the drip wasn’t going in to my bloodstream but was just going in to my arm causing it to swell up so I had to scream for the trainer to come and stop it from happening!
We had no more needles either so I only had half of the IV drip in the end which was terrible considering the weight cut I just had and the fact I had to fight in 10 hours or so!
I was lucky enough to get a big win and somehow pull out one of the best performances of my career however it could of went so wrong in so many different ways.
Weight cutting is no joke and has taken people’s lives.
It was a massive learning curve for me I know as fighters we have to go through it to a certain degree but I really pushed my luck this time and it was a big scare.
There is a science behind weight cutting and losing weight and from now on that is how I will be making weight avoiding as much water cutting as possible in the future and would advise any other fighters to do the same.
A big thanks to Savvas Michael, Ben Lucas and Petchdam for being by my side during the weight cut, without them I would of ended up in hospital or possibly worse.