UFC president Dana White is ready to address weigh-in problems.
About two years ago at UFC 199, the UFC implemented early weigh-ins in hopes to give fighters more time to rehydrate and recover before making the walk to the Octagon.
Early weigh-ins take place the morning before fight nights– so if a UFC event is taking place on Saturday night, the early weigh-ins would happen on Friday morning. The evening before the fight, the fighters face-off at a ceremonial weigh-in for show, their weight having already been officially recorded in the morning.
MMA Junkie‘s Mike Bohn put together a comprehensive comparison by the numbers of the early weigh-in system compared to the original weigh-in system. In a two-year period from June 2014 to May 2016, under the previous weigh-in system, 32 fighters missed weight in 950 bouts. From June 2016 to May 2018, under the early weigh-in system, 62 fighters missed weight in a total of 962 bouts.
Dana White agrees that there is a clear connection between the early weigh-in system and fighters missing weight. On the UFC Unfiltered podcast when asked if he felt early weigh-ins are inhibiting fighters from making weight, White said, “Yes, I do think that’s it, and guess what? We’re getting rid of it. We’re looking at taking weigh-ins back to the way they used to be. So when guys weigh-in there [at the ceremonial weigh-ins the evening before], that will be it. That’ll be the real weigh-in.”
He continued to reason, “Here’s what I believe– Any time you change something, everybody looks to take as much advantage as they can of the situation. I think that when we started doing morning weigh-ins, it was very good. Everybody was making weight, everything was great.”
“But then people started cutting it closer and closer and closer, thinking they can put on more weight because they have more time to recover, and the reality is, it f*cked everything up…”
“The other thing is, I don’t know any fighters that are morning people. Most of them stay up half the night and sleep half the day, so that might have something to do with the morning weigh-ins too.”
The decision to revert to the previous weigh-in system is not solely up to UFC brass. White says that the plan is to work with athletic commissions in re-establishing evening weigh-ins. No timetable was given.
Fight fans, do you agree with White’s sentiments? Which weigh-in system do you believe is the most effective?