For the second straight bout, Renan Barao came in heavy, missing the bantamweight limit for his UFC Phoenix fight against Luke Sanders.
While Bellator was in chilly Connecticut over the weekend, the UFC was in Sunny Arizona. On Sunday, the promotion would host their inaugural event on the big ESPN network. While they’d done two shows on ESPN+, the sports giant’s streaming service, this was their coming out party on ESPN proper. UFC Phoenix, as UFC on ESPN 1 was otherwise known, had Cain Velasquez vs. Francis Ngannou in the main event, and a wealth of other talent on the card. Three of those, including ex-bantamweight champ Renan Barao, came in heavy at Saturday’s weigh-in.
Barao’s struggles in recent years have been nothing less than shocking. The former champion has now missed weight in two straight fights, and has lost three in a row and six of his last eight contests. That, after amassing a 33-fight unbeaten streak prior to his 2014 loss against T.J. Dillashaw.
Also missing weight on Saturday, Jessica Penne and Manny Bermudez. However, in all three cases, the fights will go on as scheduled, with the offending fighters fined.
UFC Phoenix: Velasquez vs. Ngannou Weigh-in Results:
Main Card (ESPN/CTV 9PM EST)
Francis Ngannou (258) vs. Cain Velasquez (248)
Paul Felder (155.5) vs. James Vick (156)
Cynthia Calvillo (116) vs. Cortney Casey (116)
Alex Caceres (146) vs. Kron Gracie (146)
Bryan Barberena (170.5) vs. Vicente Luque (171)
Andre Fili (145.5) vs. Myles Jury (146)
Preliminary Card (ESPN/TSN, 7PM EST)
Jimmie Rivera (135) vs. Aljamain Sterling (136)
Manny Bermudez (140)* vs. Benito Lopez (135.5)
Ashlee Evans-Smith (126) vs. Andrea Lee (125.5)
Scott Holtzman (156) vs. Nik Lentz (155.5)
Preliminary Card (ESPN+/UFC Fight Pass, 5:30PM EST)
Jodie Esquibel (115.5) vs. Jessica Penne (118)**
Renan Barao (138)*** vs. Luke Sanders (135.5)
Alexandra Albu (114.5) vs. Emily Whitmire (116)
* Bermudez missed weight, fined 30% of his purse
** Penne missed weight, fined 20% of his purse
*** Barao missed weight, fined 20% of his purse