After seeing a co-main event fight fall through on the first UFC card of the year, Dana White has some concerns.
Middleweights Vitor Belfort and Uriah Hall were supposed to fight at UFC St. Louis, but the bout was canceled when Hall reportedly fainted and had to be taken to the hospital prior to Saturday’s weigh-ins. It is unclear whether the incident was directly tied to Hall’s weight cut.
However, White apparently heard through the grapevine that a lack of preparation could be to blame for Hall’s mishap and he told the media of these rumblings at a post-fight scrum on Sunday.
“I have a very long relationship with Uriah, I like him very much personally. But the guy’s at the UFC (Performance Institutute) said he doesn’t take it serious. He doesn’t take his training serious, he doesn’t do what anybody tells him. He does his own thing,” White said.
“A week before the fight, he went to L.A. and was hanging out in L.A. in clubs and stuff. So, not good. So I’m going to talk to him, he texted me tonight. He’ s back in his room, obviously he’s not good, and if you don’t cut weight the right way and you don’t do what you’re supposed to do, this is what happens.”
Though this was the first time that anyone has heard of Hall potentially having issues with cutting weight, White is aware that it was a recurring problem in 2017 and he was asked what changes need to be made to help his fighters avoid these situations.
In White’s mind, the solution is simple.
“What I think they need to think about is fight at 205,” White said, using Hall as one example. “Fight at 205 or show up and do what you’re supposed to do. There’s ways to cut weight properly and safely. You need to start doing that. That’s why we are encouraging everybody to come to the UFC Performance Institute. These guys down there, all the people that go there and do what they’re told to do and do it the right way, cut weight safely.
“The guys who don’t listen, this is what happens. And much like the Kelvin Gastelums and the Johny Hendricks and the other people out there – if you can’t make that weight, then fight at a higher weight division.”