The Weight Cutting Chronicles: UFC Vegas 16

Gabriel Benitez UFC
Gabriel Benitez Credit: Dave Mandel/

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.

Gabriel “Moggly” Benitez (21-8 MMA, 5-4 UFC)

Featherweight (145lbs): 5-3 (UFC), The Ultimate Fighter Latin America Season 1 Competitor

Lightweight (155lbs): 0-1 (UFC)

Gabriel received his opportunity in the UFC after a 1-1 stint on The Ultimate Fighter Latin America Season 1 in mid-2014. Benitez competed at 145lbs on TUF and when he got to the UFC he stayed in the same weight class.

Fast forward five years and seven fights in his UFC career later, and Benitez has only used his allotted “grace” pound just once. That saw him weighing in at 146lbs for his final featherweight bout in the UFC in August of 2019, ahead of being stopped by Sodiq Yusuff.

In Gabriel’s most recent fight about seven months ago, he lost a hard-fought unanimous decision against Omar Morales in his first lightweight bout in the UFC. Prior to his last fight, Benitez hadn’t fought at 155lbs since 2013.  At UFC Vegas 16, Benitez will again be fighting at 155lbs, and will look to capture his first win in two and a half years.

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