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Commission: Tracy Cortez, Vanessa Melo did not miss weight for UFC Sao Paulo, error due to scale issue

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Tracy Cortez
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Tracy Cortez and Vanessa Melo are off the hook after initially being ruled as having missed weight at the official weigh-ins for UFC Sao Paulo on Friday morning.

The two fighters were scheduled to compete in a bantamweight bout at Saturday’s event at Ibirapuera Gymnasium. But both weighed in at 136.5 pounds, one half-pound over the non-title bantamweight limit, which includes one-pound allowance. Due to the identical misses, neither fighter was penalized, and the bout was set to proceed as scheduled.

On Friday afternoon, CABMMA (Brazil’s athletic commission) executive director Cristiano Sampaio announced in a statement provided to MMA Fighting that Cortez and Melo did not miss weight and that the error was due to an issue with the scale used by the commission at the weigh-ins. MMA Junkie was first to report the correction.

Read the full statement from the CABMMA below (edited for grammar):

CABMMA reviewed the incident between the athletes Vanessa Melo and Tracy Cortez. Both were checked by the commission with 20 minutes left to the ending time of the official weigh-ins. The scale used by the commission was 0.7 lbs above the official scale, which indicated that the athletes could not lose any more weight in the remaining time.

Athletes were then withdrawn from the cutting process.

CABMMA physicians evaluated the athletes and considered both to be in good condition but they were not given the extra hour, which per guidelines is only for main event and title bouts. Considering the fact that (i) fighters were checked on a scale which was not calibrated as the official one; (ii) commission was misguided by the wrong weight and conducted their guideline on incorrect data; and (iii) since the difference between the scales was off by 0.7 lbs and both athletes made the exact weight on the official scale, CABMMA will consider their official weight as 136 lbs.

In that sense, the athletes will not suffer any fine or penalty, and have their records maintained. To CABMMA’s understanding, weight classes are designed for safety and fairness, not a strict rule that prevents those goals.

Cortez, a recent contract winner from Dana White’s Contender Series, has spent her entire career competing at 125 pounds and was set to make her UFC debut at 135 pounds as a short-notice replacement for Leah Letson. Melo was also stepping in on short notice for Duda Santana.

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