Rafael Alves will no longer be fighting at UFC Vegas 19, nor will opponent Pat Sabatini, after things went badly wrong at Friday morning’s weigh-in.
While Sabatini (13-3) made weight early in the weigh-in window without issue, a short time later, Alves (19-9) hit the scales, coming in at 157.5lbs. That’s one and a half-pounds over the non-title lightweight limit. Alves, a Contender Series alum, looked visibly shaken on the scale and immediately apologized for the miss. The bigger problem? Alves vs. Sabatini was contracted at featherweight, with a maximum weight allowance of 146lbs.
In short, Alves missed weight by a full 11.5lbs, and was heavy even for the next division up. Not surprisingly, the pair did not face off following weigh-ins in Las Vegas on Friday. The bout has been scratched from the card.
As weight flubs go, it’s one of the worst. Charles Oliveira once missed featherweight by 9lbs. Mackenzie Dern blew the strawweight limit by 7lbs. And outside the UFC, the notorious Jason “Mayhem” Miller once blew weight for a Venator FC fight by a full 22lbs.
According to a report by MMA Fighting, Alves later revealed that he had fallen ill during his weight cut.
“Guys, I fell ill during my weight cut and my fight was cancelled,” Alves stated on social media (translation via MMA Fighting). “I’m sorry, but my health above everything.”
Alves wasn’t alone in his struggles on Friday. Three other fighters missed the mark at the UFC Vegas 19 official weigh-in: Jared Gordon, Ketlen Vieira, and Drako Rodriguez were all heavy. None, however, were anywhere near as heavy as Alves, and it appears those other fights will proceed.
The UFC Vegas 19 card takes place Saturday, February 20 at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada. Heavyweight contenders Derrick “The Black Beast” Lewis and Curtis “Razor” Blaydes headline the event.