Early weigh-ins may soon be a thing of the past, according to new comments by UFC President Dana White.
The recent spare of blown weight cuts in the UFC has not gone unnoticed by the promotion. There’s really no way they could, but to underline the point, UFC President Dana White has publicly confirmed that the promotion is looking to eliminate early weigh-ins. If it is successful, it will end a two-year experiment started to help make weight cutting safer. Instead, fighters gamed the system, and put themselves at further risk.
White made the comments on the most recent episode of UFC Unfiltered.
“Any time you change something, everybody looks to take advantage,” the UFC President said, “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.”
However, things soon took a turn for the worse when the honeymoon period was over, and fighters were more willing to game the system. “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,” White continued, “and the reality is, it f****d everything up. So, we’re looking at going back to, at 4 o’clock when we do the weigh-ins, those will be the real weigh-ins.”
White did admit that other factors could be at play. “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.”
Nor is it the UFC’s decision to make. In the end, it’s up to the athletic commissions. “We’re going to work with them,” White finished.
Not a bad idea. While weight cutting reform is admirable, the early weigh-ins have not worked out as planned. While fighters in theory now have more time to re-hydrate after a cut, they seem to be attempting bigger cuts than ever before. Kevin Lee, Darren Till, and Mackenzie Dern are just some of the high profile blown weight cuts of late. And the number of fighters missing weight is actually on the rise since the early weigh-ins were launched.
Any number of measures could be brought in to correct the weight cutting epidemic in MMA, including a doctor certified weight class for fighters, and expanded monitoring of weight weeks ahead of fight week. However, all would require funding, and whether the promotions or commissions would shoulder that would have to be hashed out.
In the meantime, it seems the early weigh-ins may come to an early demise.