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.
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (36-15 MMA, 23-12 UFC)
Lightweight (155lbs): 17-6 (UFC)
Welterweight (170lbs): 6-6 (UFC)
Donald Cerrone has been in the UFC for a long time, in fact, with his fight at UFC Vegas 11 he will again be tied for the most fights in the promotion’s history. Cerrone is also the owner of the most wins in the UFC’s history. And early next year Cerrone could be celebrating 10 years in the UFC.
But Cowboy actually began his UFC career at 155lbs. At one point, in late 2015, Cowboy was the Number 2 ranked lightweight MMA fighter in the world. This was heading into his 155lbs. title fight with Rafael Dos Anjos, that he would ultimately lose.
After the loss, Cowboy decided to stop cutting weight and by doing this it gave him even more free reign to embrace his ‘anytime, anywhere’ attitude towards fighting. Cowboy had a 10 fight stint in the welterweight division, starting off red hot with an impressive win streak, before eventually losing a few fights in a row.
Cowboy would again move down to lightweight, as he has always expressed that he is in pursuit of a UFC title and 155lbs. is where he has come the closest to achieving that goal. And after a dominant win over Al Iaquinta in May of 2019, it looked like Cowboy was a couple wins away from another title shot at lightweight. Unfortunately, two stoppage losses against top-ranked contenders Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje would derail those hopes.
Cowboy would again move up to welterweight in order to fight Conor McGregor earlier this year and in his last fight, took on Anthony Pettis at welterweight as well. Cowboy will be fighting Niko Price at UFC Vegas 11, and it will be his third welterweight fight in a row.