Two fighters missed their marks on the scale for UFC 253. 145-pounders Ľudovít Klein and Zubaira Tukhugov both tipped the scales at 150 pounds, turning their scheduled featherweight fights into catch-weights.
Klein ended up defeating Israel Adesanya’s teammate Shane Young, which greatly upset “The Last Stylebender.” During the post-fight presser, he vocalized his demand for an overhaul in the penalty system for competitors who miss weight.
“It’s just cheating. I saw the guy that Dawodu fought right after,” Adesanya said, referring to Tukhugov. “With 90 minutes left, he’s on the blueberries and the water and whatnot. These guys, some of them are gangsters. Some of them are making money outside the UFC. Some of them have trust funds. 30 percent of their purse ain’t sh-t.
“But I’m telling you, if you fine someone 90 percent of your purse if you miss weight, I guarantee you, no matter how much money you’re making, no one’s go through this whole camp, through this whole sh-t and be willing to give 90 percent of their pay to the other guy. They will take that 90 minutes they had left to make the weight. They’ll take every second to make the weight.”
Adesanya spoke to Dana White about this issue right after his second-round TKO win over Paulo Costa in the main event. The UFC president didn’t disagree one bit, but did admit that it’s all beyond their control.
“He’s not wrong,” White said when he spoke to the media after the event. “But that’s not our place, it’s the Commission that handles that. But he’s not wrong. Take 80 or 90% of anybody’s money, they’re gonna show up the right way.”
The California State Athletic Commission is one of those that implement stricter policies on weight cutting. For one, fighters who gain more than eight percent of the weight after weigh-in day are required to move up. Erring competitors will also be fined from both their show and win money.