Many presumed they’d misheard the announced weight when Rafael Alves took to the scales in Las Vegas on Friday morning.
Aiming for the featherweight limit of 146lbs, Rafael Alves came in at a bizarre 157.5lbs, meaning he would have even missed weight if the bout had been scheduled for lightweight.
The featherweight clash with Patrick Sabatini was ultimately scratched from Saturday evening’s UFC Fight Night event due to the significance of the weight miss, the worst in UFC history.
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) February 19, 2021
Alves, who was in tears on the scales, has since broken his silence on why he came in so heavy ahead of his promotional debut and explained that he’d fallen ill after eating salmon the previous day.
“I ate salmon yesterday and fell ill, (had) vomit and diarrhoea, so the doctor said I had to treat it with (drinking) water,” he told MMA Fighting via text message.
“I only had 2kg (4.4lbs) left to cut, (but) when I drank water my weight went up and got stuck, so the doctor didn’t clear me to fight. But God owns everything and He knows what He does.”
After speaking to UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby, Alves expressed relief about receiving another opportunity after avoiding being cut from the roster immediately.
The Brazilian has revealed that he will no longer be looking to fight at featherweight and will instead turn his attention to the 155lbs division.
The previous UFC record for missing weight was held by Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, who weighed in 11 pounds overweight for a fight against Vitor Belfort at UFC 142 on Jan. 14, 2012.
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) February 19, 2021
“Sean Shelby said that health is what matters now,” Alves said. “He told me this has happened to champions before, and told (me) to fight at 155 and come back stronger.
“They won’t cut me because they had to change opponents and they were searching for a new one, some said they would fight at 155 and others at 145, so I didn’t focus on the guy I was fighting nor my weight.
“But I’m going to fight at 155 now. I’m focused and nothing will stop me.”