The Weight Cutting Chronicles: UFC 251

Jorge Masvidal UFC
Jorge Masvidal Credit: Marcus Rebelo/Cageside Press

UFC 251 marks the promotion’s debut on Fight Island, and the first of four events designed to get its international roster in the mix during the ongoing pandemic.

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.

Jorge “Gamebred” Masvidal (35-13 MMA, 12-7 UFC)

Lightweight (155lbs): 5-2 (UFC)

Welterweight (170lbs): 7-5 (UFC), Challenger for the UFC Welterweight Championship, Inagural ‘BMF’ Title Belt Holder

Jorge Masvidal is a fighter that has been around the way a few times. Jorge began his fighting journey in the backyards of Flordia, fighting on an underground circuit, before moving on to compete in Bellator and Strikeforce then finally making his way to the UFC in 2013.

Masvidal had a very successful 7-fight stint in the UFC’s lightweight division, with wins over solid competition like Tim Means, Michael Chiesa, and James Krause. Masvidal took his first welterweight fight in the UFC in July of 2015, just three months after losing a split decision to Al Iaquinta in what would be his last fight at 155lbs. Jorge’s split decision loss to Iaquinta was one of the most controversial decisions of 2015 and undoubtedly left him looking to make a change. Jorge was 30 years old at this time and with a 5’11” frame and a 73″ reach, making the move to welterweight seemed like just the change that was needed.

Jorge has been at welterweight ever since. His bout on July 11 will be his 13th fight at welterweight. Even though Jorge technically has a worse record in the UFC at 170lbs, than at 155lbs, all of his losses were by split decision save for one unanimous decision. Gamebred’s move 170lbs. birthed a lot of exciting finishes, belt opportunities, and a contract restructuring so it’s safe to say that he made the right choice back in 2015.