Zach Arnold of FightOpinion.com, wrote a great article over at MMA Memories about the growing trend of fighters missing weight. It’s obviously becoming a problem for the sport with few consequences for its offenders.
Offender #1 is media darling Gina Carano. A serial offender when it comes to failing to make weight, Ms. Carano missed making weight for her last fight (against Kaitlin Young at Elite XC’s New Jersey event on CBS) by four pounds. Despite losing a small percentage of her fight purse, Carano was not heavily punished for her actions.
Offender #2 is Thiago Alves, UFC’s newest star to try to make waves in the 170 pound division. Except… he couldn’t make weight in his UFC 85 main event fight against the always dangerous and professional Matt Hughes. Alves missed making weight by four pounds and claimed that he hurt his ankle in training, which he says prohibited him from being able to train properly. Alves lost a percentage of his fight purse, but was obviously not heavily punished for his actions.
Offender #3 is the always-entertaining Nick Diaz, a man that Elite XC has spent many months marketing as a cornerstone of their company. Diaz has had quite a colorful career, which includes an encounter with Joe Riggs at a Las Vegas hospital, a failed drug test (marijuana) in the state of Nevada after he fought Takanori Gomi at a PRIDE event, and now an incident in which he failed to make weight for his latest EXC fight (against Muhsin Corbbrey) by more than nine pounds.
Of the aforementioned fighters, Diaz, from the known details, seems to be the only one who handled the situation correctly by approaching his opponent’s camp when he knew he would miss weight to notify them of the situation and offer them a percentage of his purse. That said, missing weight by nine pounds is largely unheard of. Diaz had a huge size advantage in the Corbbrey fight over the weekend, and it’s unfortunate that Corbbrey had to fight with his back against the wall in the biggest fight of his career to date. As unprofessional as Diaz can be, missing weight has never been one of his offenses. I don’t think we’ll see a pattern of this moving forward with him like we’ve seen with Carano and Alves, but he certainly needs to hit 160lbs in his next lightweight fight for EliteXC, or make the permanent move to welteweight.
As much as the fighters are to blame, the promoters and athletic commissions should be held accountable for not taking more action as well. Arnold has laid out a solid plan for dealing with it.
1) If you fail to make weight for one fight, you lose a third of your fight purse and get suspended for three months by the athletic commission.
2) If you fail to make weight for a second fight, you lose half of your fight purse and get suspended for six months by the athletic commission.
3) If you fail to make weight for a third fight, you lose your entire fight purse and get suspended for a full year by the athletic commission.
Ultimately, the ones who are hurt in these situations are the opponents and the integrity of the sport. A change obviously needs to be made.