UFC 214: Weight Watchers

With International Fight week a month away the UFC made sure to stack their UFC 214 main card, but that is a given.  One particular undertone fans are focused on is the fact that the event will take place in Anaheim, California, which means the UFC will have to abide by the California Athletic Commission’s new 10-point regulation regarding the percentage of weight being cut by competitors, the weight of the fighters 10 days and a month away from the event, and the weight of said competitors on the night of the event.

Some of the fighters scheduled to compete at UFC 214 are known for either missing weight in the past or having trouble making weight.  UFC Lightweight champion Daniel Cormier notably missed weight the last time he competed at UFC 210 against Anthony Johnson.  Although DC made weight minutes later, the manner of holding onto the towel while on the scale was likely a big part of his ability to make the 205 lb limit.  Despite not being announced for the card, Cris Cyborg  is rumored to be included, but she too has suffered from the drastic weight cut to 140 lbs in her last two bouts, and turned down bouts at 145 lbs in recent memory because she claimed she did not have enough time to prepare for a weight cut due to health related issues.

Should Cyborg weigh in at an exceedingly amount of weight 10 days or 30 days out of the fight, she’d be asked to move up a weight class.  But, there isn’t even a women’s featherweight division in the UFC let alone a women’s lightweight division. That’s one of the issues of the new system.  Should the UFC adapt to the recommended 165, 175, and 195 weigh classes, then we could see an even bigger improvement to MMA’s weight cutting problem.  Unfortunately for Cyborg she still won’t be receiving any help, but perhaps an alignment with Mike Dolce will do.

Judging by Dana White’s reaction to the addition of weight classes, it’s unlikely we’ll see that in the near future.

Renan Barao was once considered the #1 Pound for Pound fighter in the world once upon a time at 135 lbs, but he lost his throne and his ability to safely make 135 lbs.  He was forced to be removed from UFC 177 after attempting to cut to 135 lbs sent him to the hospital following bumping his head on a bathtub.  Barao was forced by the UFC to move up to 145 lbs nearly a year later and despite being competitive, he lost a unanimous decision to Jeremy Stephens.  Following a win over Philppe Nover last September he revealed his intentions to move back to 135 lbs.  He will be pitted against Aljamain Sterling and should he fail to make weight he’d be forced to give up 20% of a potential win bonus to his opponent.  Should Barao miss weight there is a chance he’d be forced to move back to 145 lbs.

Daniel Cormier’s weight during fight night against Johnson went public after referee John McCarthy revealed on his podcast that Cormier weighed 236 lbs, an astonishing 31 lbs heavier in around 36 hours after he initially weighed 205 lbs.  Cormier acknowledged the need to be careful with how heavy he comes in on the day of UFC 214 and according to the new set of rules he’d have to come in at no heavier than 225.5 lbs.

The ramifications if DC were to show up heavier than 10% above 205 lbs?  None.  The CSAC states that the fighter would simply be recommended to move up a weight class.  Not much of a punishment.  Especially considering the fact that Cormier has hinted at retirement on multiple occasions.  To say things will be interesting in the scheduled rematch between Jones and Cormier is an understatement considering the particulars involving the 10-point system as well as USADA’s in and out-of-competition drug testing.  Even if we miss out on potential penalties at UFC 214, fans will be intrigued with the revealing information on how weight cutting is handled by  some of their favorite fighters.

Andre Fili is scheduled to face Doo Ho Choi at UFC 214 and missed weight back at UFC 166 in 2013.  Volcano Oezdemir is scheduled to face Jimi Manuwa in a critical light heavyweight bout two months after his win at UFC Fight Night in late May.  Prior to his UFC debut in February, Oezdemir fought at heavyweight multiple times in 2014 and 2016.  Sage Northcutt is expected to face Claudio Puelles at UFC 214 and will return to lightweight after his loss to Mickey Gall at welterweight last December.

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