Daniel Cormier never admitted he used the towel to “make weight” prior to his UFC light heavyweight championship bout with Anthony Johnson at UFC 210. Less than three months later, a fellow fighter tried a different trick in front of the New York commission, but failed.
Sergio da Silva was one of the first fighters to enter the room this morning in New York to make weight for Bellator 180, but he was a few pounds over. da Silva, who was born in Brazil, but lived most of his life in New York, thought he could step in the scale, check his weight and come back later.
"Cormier weighed in, came back and weighed in again, but the (commissioner) wouldn’t let me do it,” da Silva told MMA Fighting. "When she read the weight I said ‘ok, I still have two hours, so I’ll come back and try to lose more’, but she said ‘no, you can’t.’"
It looks like the NYSAC learned its lesson from "Towelgate." Check this out from today's Bellator 180 weigh-ins: https://t.co/IBvAEHUZ5Q pic.twitter.com/q6C6Jl0svH— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) June 23, 2017
The only reason Cormier was allowed to come back later, the commission explained at the time, is because he was in a title fight. da Silva vs. Matt Rizzo is the second bout of the night in Madison Square Garden, so both fighters didn’t have that option. Once da Silva realized it, he tried to cheat the scale.
"It was obvious, there’s no reason to lie,” da Silva admits. "I was a little above the limit and tried to do… I’m a veteran, almost 10 years fighting, and I’ll try anything you can do to make a difference. There’s nothing else to say.
"You’re dehydrated, waiting to weigh in since 6 a.m., cutting weight,” he continued, guaranteeing would have made weight if he had used the extra hours. "I couldn’t do it, so I tried to ‘lose' something in the scale.
"I usually weigh in in the afternoon. I wake up, and I have my schedule of the day to cut weight. I didn’t even sleep last night cutting weight. It’s hard to weigh in at 9 a.m.. It’s good because you have more time to rehydrate, but it’s too early."
The commission realized what he was trying to do, and forced him to stand with both feet on the scale. da Silva weighed in at 137.6 pounds, and Rizzo had to drink water backstage so the fight would not be cancelled.
The fight is official, and the Bellator newcomer is now focused on showing what he can do inside the cage.
"I’m 100 percent confident,” da Silva said. "I know he’s worried. He was on the Ultimate Fighter, has a good record, is a local champion and is a black belt in jiu-jitsu, but I’m also a black belt in jiu-jitsu, and a black belt under ‘Shaolin' (Vitor Ribeiro).
"If we go to the ground, I’m 100 percent submitting him. And I know I can trade with him. I know this will be the first knockout of my career."