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.
Jeremy “Lil Heathen” Stephens (28-18 MMA,15-17, 1 NC UFC)
Featherweight (145lbs.): 8-9, 1 NC (UFC), Missed weight 2x
Lightweight (155lbs.): 7-8 (UFC)
Jeremy Stephens has been in the UFC since way, way back in 2007! Jeremy’s UFC debut actually came in the lightweight division against none other than the legend, Din Thomas. Stephens had decent run in the lightweight division, but struggled mightily when he began to face some of the lightweight division’s elite (including a three fight losing skid to the likes of: Anthony Pettis, Donald Cerrone and Yves Edwards) before ultimately deciding to move down in weight.
At featherweight Stephens immediately enjoyed a three fight win streak, though it would become increasingly more difficult to make the 145lb weight limit. Stephens very often used the entirety of his allotted grace pound at weigh-ins even when he first moved down to the division. Stephens missed weight for the first time at 145lbs in 2015 ahead of his bonus winning KO of Dennis Bermudez. Stephens weighted in at 149lbs for that fight. Stephens currently has gone five bouts without a win and in his last bout against Calvin Kattar, he missed weight again, weighing at 150.5lbs for the bout. To the surprise of no one, 35 year old Jeremy Stephens will be moving back up to the lightweight division to see if he can get a desperately needed win.