Las Vegas, NV — As the saying goes, the weight cut is the “fight before the fight,” and on that front, debuting bantamweight Irina Alekseeva lost the battle ahead of UFC Vegas 72.
Coming in four pounds heavy saw the fighter known as “Russian Ronda” (as in Rousey, thanks to her Judo background) take considerable criticism. However, she said following a kneebar submission of Stephanie Eggar on Saturday that the most important thing was to keep the fight together.
“Even though I did not make the weight, I want to apologize for that of course, but the thing was, it was much more important for me to keep the fight. This was something that my team and I decided together,” Alekseeva (5-1) told media outlets including Cageside Press following the win. “If I were to make the [weight], most likely I would be so depleted that there was zero chances that I would be able to fight and I would have to cancel the fight, and in this way let down the UFC and my opponent.”
“So it was more important to me to maybe come in a little overweight, but at the same time make sure that the fight happens, make sure that the fans get what they want,” she continued. Alekseeva went on to reveal that she later suffered an allergic reaction to an unnamed substance given to her to help her re-hydrate following her weight cut.
“Even yesterday, after the weight cut was done, after we weighed in, whatever the recovery things that the UFC gave me, I had an allergic reaction to it. I was sick, I kept on throwing up, my face turned completely red. I didn’t know what was happening, and I went back to the PI. The PI, they were monitoring me, making sure I was fine all the way through the late evening. I still was not feeling well, I still was feeling nauseous. Whatever it was, I definitely was not feeling well and only today, earlier in the morning I started feeling like myself again.”
“And that’s why I’m happy that the fight happened, even though there was a weight miss.”
Alekseeva said she did the responsible thing by working with the UFC Performance Institute. “The most important thing is that we kept the fight, we did not cancel and we didn’t let anybody down.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 72 post-fight press conference with Irina Alekseeva above.