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Dana White planning to get rid of early weigh-ins

UFC on FOX 16 Weigh-In Photos
Dana White
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC president Dana White has had it with the recent abundance of high profile weight misses.

In the past two months alone, fighters like Darren Till, Mackenzie Dern, and Kevin Lee have all missed weight for heavily promoted main card bouts, raising questions as to how effective the the move from late afternoon weigh-ins to morning ones have been. The change was made two years ago at UFC 199 with the intention of allowing fighters more time to re-hydrate and recover in between hitting the scale and stepping into the Octagon.

At first, the majority of fighters appeared to have little issue with the earlier weigh-ins, but over the past year there have been a rash of competitors coming in heavy, resulting in bouts being changed to catchweight affairs or canceled altogether.

Appearing on the UFC Unfiltered podcast, White was asked if early weigh-ins were to blame for the weight problems his fighters have been having. He agreed that there’s a clear connection and announced that the promotion is looking to implement later weigh-ins again.

“Yes, I do think it’s that, and guess what? We’re getting rid of it,” White said. “We’re looking at taking the weigh-ins back to the way they used to be. So when the guys weigh in there, at the (ceremonial weigh-ins), that will be it. That’ll be the real weigh-in.”

White did not fully put the blame on the process. He acknowledged that early returns on the new weigh-in time were fine, but when fighters realized they could possibly game the system even further with the extra time to cut weight, that’s when things started to go haywire.

“Here’s what I believe,” White said. “Any time you change something, everybody looks to take as much advantage as they can of the situation. I think that when we started doing morning weigh-ins, it was very good. Everybody was making weight, everything was great.

“But then people started cutting it closer and closer and closer, thinking they can put on more weight because they have more time to recover, and the reality is, it f**ked everything up. So we’re looking at going back to — at 4 p.m. PT — when we do the weigh-ins, those will be the real weigh-ins.

“The other thing is, I don’t know any fighters that are morning people. Most of them stay up half the night and sleep half the day, so that might have something to do with the morning weigh-ins too.”

Changing weigh-in policy cannot be made unilaterally by the UFC. White said that the plan is to work with the athletic commissions to discuss the best way to return to the previous method of handling weigh-ins.

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