The Weight Cutting Chronicles: UFC Rio Rancho

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Michel Pereira, UFC
Michel Pereira, UFC Vancouver Official Weigh-In Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

The octagon stops by Rio Rancho this weekend for a Fight Night event, and how Michel Pereira looks at the scales will be one of the big questions Friday morning.

Like it or not, weight-cutting is deeply rooted in mixed martial arts. MMA adopted its weight-cutting from the sport of wrestling, where it is presumed to be very advantageous to be the biggest and strongest in your weight class. Known as the ‘fight before the fight,’ most UFC fighters cut anywhere from 5-25 pounds, with some fighters even in excess of 30 pounds.

Weight-cutting is the ultimate test of discipline and willpower. Many fighters in the sport consider it very unprofessional to miss weight. In this series, we will shine a light on fighters who cut a massive amount of weight, who have missed weight multiple times in the past, who have made weight-class changes, along with how the weight-cut and weigh-in could affect possible upcoming match-ups. Basically, every aspect of weight-cutting and how it affects the fight game.

Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez (29-11 MMA, 18-12 UFC)

Lightweight (155lbs):  6-5 (UFC), Lightweight Title Challenger, Missed weight one time

Welterweight (170lbs): 11-6 (UFC)

Featherweight (145lbs): 0-1 (UFC)

Middleweight (185lbs): 1-0 (UFC), The Ultimate Fighter Season 1 Winner

Diego Sanchez is the last man standing from the inaugural season of the TV show that put the UFC on the map, The Ultimate Fighter. Sanchez’s tenacity, ferocity, and perseverance have led to his long stint with the promotion in four different weight classes. Diego actually started off his career at 16-0, which included his first few fights in the UFC. During TUF, he competed at middleweight, where he won the show — then immediately dropped to welterweight. He competed there until 2009, then dropped to lightweight, which led to a title shot against B.J. Penn. Eventually he’d move back to welterweight, to lightweight, take a single fight at featherweight, then work his way back up. He currently competes as a welterweight.

Diego expressed later in his creer (2016, after being knocked out by Al Iaquinta) that cutting close to 20lbs was just too much weight for him to cut and then fight the next day in optimal condition. And at 38 years old that is without a doubt the right decision, and definitely the safest decision for a fighter of any age.

Michel “Demolidor” Pereira (23-10 MMA, 1-1 UFC)

Welterweight (170lbs): 1-1 (UFC) Missed weight  in his last bout

Michel Pereira is quite the physical specimen. At 6’1″ and packing a 73″ reach it really is amazing that Pereira is in the welterweight division with his size and build. But Pereira’s physique is hardly what he is known for. Rather, it’s his energy and athleticism. Pereira waltzed out for his promotional debut and smashed a very good competitor in Danny Roberts while jumping off the cage for superman-punches, flipping and throwing flashy kicks the entire time. But in his next fight, Michel missed weight. He came out in his usual very flashy style, but opponent Tristan Connelly would not be put down easily and after the first round, Pereira started to fade rapidly. Pereira ended up on the losing end of one of 2019’s comebacks of the year as he lost a unanimous decision, and was completely gassed thanks mostly to his weight cut. The UFC Rio Rancho card will again see ‘Demolidor’ at 170lbs so he is one to watch on the scale and on fight night.

Ray “The Tazmexican Devil” Borg (12-4 MMA, 6-4 UFC)

Flyweight (125lbs):  5-3 (UFC), UFC Flyweight Title Challenger, Missed weight two times

Bantamweight (135lbs): 1-1 (UFC), Missed weight one time

Ray Borg is a fighter that is very talented with great grappling abilities and an absolutely vicious rear-naked choke. But that hasn’t been the problem for Ray Borg — throughout his fighting career it’s been literally everything else outside the cage. Borg has had multiple miserable weight cuts in the past, he’s been forced to move up a weight class and to date, he has missed weight three times.

In Ray Borg’s last bout he made weight at 136lbs, and now at UFC Rio Rancho, he will be back down at flyweight. Borg will be a fighter to watch on the scale and come fight time.

Yancy “The Kid” Medeiros (15-6 MMA, 6-6 UFC)

Lightweight (155lbs): 3-5 (UFC), Missed weight one time

Welterweight (170lbs): 3-1 (UFC)

Yancy Medeiros is a lengthy Hawaiian with a love for stand-up scrappy fighting. A style very Diaz Brothers-like but also with his own twist. Medeiros stands at 5’10” with a 75.5″ frame a super impressive reach for both welterweight and especially lightweight.

Yancy made the change back to lightweight after his stoppage loss to Donald Cerrone. And with the help of the Diaz brothers-inspired diet and workout plan he has seemingly had no problem with making the weight. UFC Rio Rancho is just Medeiros’ second outing since being back down at 155lbs however.

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