Nine years after making his professional MMA debut, Alberto Mina was finally set to fight for the first time in the UFC. Fighting in front of his friends and students in Macau was a dream coming true for the Asia-based Brazilian. However, his dream fell apart the day before the fight.
Mina was scheduled to meet TUF veteran Zak Cummings on March 1st in Macau, China. He trained hard to cut 24 pounds to hit 170 on the scale. On the other hand, Cummings came in at 178 for the welterweight bout.
"I waited and invested so much for this fight," a frustrated Mina told MMAFighting.com. "I left Hong Kong, where I usually train and teach, to train in London, where I lived for almost five years and have some great training now.
"Like every professional fighter, I cut 24 pounds in eight days and that’s normal. It hurts to cut weight and I’m no different than anyone else in this sport. My UFC debut in Macau would have meant a lot to me, more than 300 friends and students left Hong Kong to Macau for the fight.
"It was very frustrating for the whole time, sweat and hope dedicated to fulfill this dream and see it all fall apart due to other fighter’s incompetence."
Undefeated in 10 professional fights with 10 finishes, Mina considered a catchweight against Cummings just to enter the Octagon, but his coaches told him to get out of the fight.
"I invested so much, so eight pounds wouldn’t make me withdraw from the fight," he said. "But I’m a professional, and I’m trained by professionals. The possibility of fighting at catchweight would have existed if my opponent at least tried to cut weight. We did the pre-weigh-ins the whole day, and I only found about this ‘little difference’ of eight pounds in the last one. He was almost one weight division up.
"I would have accepted to fight at catchweight if they had told me on Friday morning about it, before I did the last cut in the sauna, when I lost the last 11 pounds," he continued. "However, this guy waited for me to get to my limit to offer me a catchweight and give me 20% of his purse -- which isn’t much, considering it was his UFC debut.
"I’m 10-0 because I always prepared to fight as a professional. I was upset to see the whole camp I did with my coaches Rodrigo Medeiros, Alexis Demetriades and Paul Ivens go away, but I respected my coaches’ decision (to not fight)."
UFC paid Mina his purse, and the jiu-jitsu expert is back to the gym and once again focused on finally making his UFC debut.
"There’s a real why the UFC is the biggest promotion in the world," Mina said. "They paid me like if I had fought. I got a text from Dana White saying that he was sorry for what happened, and Joe Silva immediately contacted me to see the best time to get me a new fight, probably around May or June. They impressed me with their professionalism."