UFC welterweight contender Darren Till missed the 170-pound mark by 3.5 pounds during his headliner fight against Stephen Thompson last May. Nonetheless, he was granted the opportunity to challenge Tyron Woodley for the welterweight title at UFC 228.
This kind of situation does not sit well with the likes of middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, who never had problems about making weight.
“It’s like me going down to bantamweight, not making weight, winning because I’m much bigger and then getting a title shot,” Whittaker said during a TUF 28 media luncheon on Monday (via MMA Fighting). “It’s not fair. It’s not fair. Because on the flip side, the guys that are making weight don’t make it easy.”
“It wasn’t easy to cut weight and make weight and do the job. We still had to struggle, we still had to diet weeks out. We’re just more professional at it. We just did it right.”
“Bobby Knuckles” himself was involved in a similar situation, but it was his opponent Yoel Romero who failed to make weight during their UFC 225 fight last June. For him, those who get the job done on weigh-in day are also put in a compromising situation.
“The people who do make weight are also in a hard position. Because they’re in a position where they still need to make money to pay the bills, to earn a wage, to do their job,” Whittaker said. “But they also have the support of hundreds of thousands of people who have come to see them fight or that are watching them on TV to watch a fight. The fans. That’s kind of why you fight — they drive the sport.”
“When you ask a guy, ‘Are you gonna take a fight if your opponent doesn’t make weight?’ Is it really asking? Does he really have a choice? When you back them into a corner like that, is there really a choice to be made? You have to look at the whole process behind it.”
Whittaker is slated to coach the upcoming 28th season of the Ultimate Fighter against Kelvin Gastelum.