From GSP to Khabib: Controversies on the Scale

Kelvin Gastelum weighs in as his coach Rafael Cordeiro closely looks on Credit: Marcus Rebelo/Cageside Press

Kelvin Gastelum and Rafael Cordeiro

New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC)

Ahead of UFC 244, Kelvin Gastelum, the last fighter to weigh in, stepped onto the scale with two NYSAC officers holding either end of a towel and looking at the scale’s display. “184 even,” was the official reading after a slight delay from the official. But Kelvin’s coach, Rafael Cordeiro, was just behind him seemingly slightly supporting his elbow while he appears to ever so softly rest his elbow on his coach’s shoulder.

Cageside Press’ own Marcus Rebelo was on hand covering the event, and snapped the image above.

Though one of the athletic commission officers might have given Gastelum a double-take, the NCYSAC officially reviewed the footage available of the weigh-ins and determined no foul play had taken part saying (in a statement sent to MMA Fighting):

 “The official weight determination will not be disturbed, and Mr. Gastelum will not be disqualified from competing in UFC 244, as the possible contact indicated in the video cannot be said to have materially impacted Mr. Gastelum’s weight to the extent that he would have exceeded the applicable weight limit allowable for competition in the match.”

Athletic Commissions in mixed martial arts are the sanctioning bodies that watch over the safety of the fighters, judging, officiating, and conducting weigh-ins. These sanctioning bodies are supposed to be fair, unbiased and virtually perfect at their jobs, but to the surprise of some, they aren’t all the time.

And with the UFC alone putting on close to 500 fights a year these days there are plenty of weigh-ins for fighters and plenty of chances for errors. It’s actually somewhat surprising, with that in mind, that there aren’t more of these incidents.


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