Dana White confirmed recently that the UFC are scrapping their controversial ‘early morning weigh-ins’ just two years after implementing them.
The controversial practice of fighter weight-cutting really seemed to hit peak levels of divisiveness in the last calendar year. Several high-profile figures within the sport found themselves under the spotlight for their well-documented struggles with, or even their complete failure to, make weight for matchups fought under the UFC banner.
Most recently, UFC Liverpool saw its headlining star Darren Till put himself through some serious stress in order to drain himself sufficiently to make the 170lb limit. Till is an absolutely huge welterweight and could easily be a comfortable 185lb-r under the right circumstances and while seeing these oversized fighters use their extra pounds to reap greater rewards is frowned upon by some, the conditions were still perfect for them to continue to exploit the current way of doing things.
Two years ago, the UFC’s decision to implement a new weigh-in system that allowed fighters a few more hours to rehydrate was met with a mixed response. Of course, there were those who felt as though the extra hours would be used in order to gain even more of a size advantage and on the evidence we have gained in the two years since then, they may well have hit the nail on the head.
Speaking on a recent appearance on the UFC Unfiltered podcast, Dana confirmed that the promotion were willing to cut their losses as far as the early weigh-ins were concerned and axe the controversial change-up.
“Guess what? We’re getting rid of it.
“We’re looking at taking back the weigh-ins to the way they used to be so that when the guys weigh-in there at the fight, that will be it. That will be the real weigh-in.
“I believe that any time you change something, everybody looks to take advantage of any situation. I think that when we started doing morning weigh-ins it was very good. Everybody was making weight and everything was going great, but then everybody started cutting it closer, closer and closer thinking that they can put on more weight because they have more time to recover.
“The reality is it f***ed everything up. We’re looking to going back to 4pm weigh-ins. Those will be the real weigh-ins.”
This is a decision that will no doubt be met with some serious relief. Out of the eight fighters to come in heavy so far in 2018, only one has come away in defeat. Sure, the stress being placed on any given fighter in the similar situation’s body is considerable, but on the evidence of what we’ve seen in recent times, the advantages you can garner over your opponent are considerable.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena