Following on from Charles Oliveira missing the weight by half a pound before his lightweight title fight against Justin Gaethje, the Twitterverse has come alive with memes and videos from previous weigh-ins.
One particular clip surrounding Khabib Nurmagomedov’s weigh-in prior to his fight against Gaethje in October 2020 has gained some traction.
In this, Khabib steps onto the scales and is quickly announced as weighing in at 155 pounds, the limit for the fight.
The scales clearly hadn’t settled, however, when the reading as made and appeared to be moving upwards. This caused a stir at the time and is now being poured over again in the light of the Oliveira decision.
The UFC does have a history of weigh-in controversies. Khamzat Chimaev weighing in ahead of his welterweight bout with Li Jingliang before UFC 267 had to reach the weight of 170 pounds. He missed at the first time of asking and returned an hour later, resorting to stripping naked and then appeared to hold onto the towel when being weighed again.
He finally made the weight, but not without the stench of something a little fishy.
Another fighter who has used towel antics is Daniel Cormier for his weigh-in at UFC 210 ahead of his clash with Anthony Johnson back in 2017.
The weigh-in decision surrounding Oliveira can be seen both ways. An effort by the UFC to clean up their weigh-in act and to ensure the brand is protected and the rules in place are observed. For others on social media, though, it is evidence of one rule for some and another rule for others.
The difference? The big money fights get to move forward unimpeded, whilst the rest are held to a higher standard.
It is a conundrum that the UFC need to find an answer for if it is to maintain its position as the premier mixed martial arts platform.