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Early weigh-ins will still be in effect for UFC 226, TUF 27 Finale

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC fighters will still hit the scale in the morning. For now.

UFC 226 and the TUF 27 Finale, both in Las Vegas next week, will have morning official weigh-ins, MMA Fighting confirmed Friday with UFC officials following a report by ESPN. A memo was sent out by UFC vice president of health and performance Jeff Novitzky to fighters informing them Thursday, the report stated.

UFC president Dana White said earlier this month at UFC 225 in Chicago that the promotion would be scrapping the early weigh-ins in the future and going back to the traditional 4 p.m. official weigh-in time.

Since the UFC started early weigh-ins in 2016 — because it gave fighters more time to recover before their fights — there has been an increase in athletes missing weight by three times the previous amount. However, many fighters have been public about wanting to keep the morning weigh-ins, saying that going back to the old way only punishes those who make weight and emboldens those who do not.

Novitzky wrote in the memo that fighters would be informed “well in advance” if any changes are made, per ESPN. Just because next week’s cards in Las Vegas will have morning weigh-ins does not mean White has abandoned the idea to go back to the afternoon.

UFC 227 is the next scheduled pay-per-view event after next week, set for Aug. 4 in Los Angeles. California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) executive officer Andy Foster told MMA Fighting that fighters will weigh-in for that card in the morning, per state rules. CSAC was the linchpin in going to early weigh-ins in 2016 for fighter health and safety purposes.

Extreme weight cutting continues to be one of the hottest topics in MMA. Last week, the UFC Performance Institute released an analysis that recommended fighters stay within 10 percent of their contracted weight class on the day of the fight. Studies have shown that anywhere from about 30 to 50 percent do not meet that mark on fight day.

UFC Performance Institute vice president of performance Duncan French said no data has really been collected yet on which is better, the early weigh-ins or the late ones.

“We’re looking into that,” French said recently. “Physiologically, I’m unaware of some significant things that suggest that either is better.”

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