Pictured above: UFC veteran Mike Wilkinson weighs in on the 145lb mark – photo by Jorden Curran
By Dane McGuire, U.S. Correspondent
The California State Athletic Commission held a meeting on Tuesday (March 8) that will change bout contracts in the state. Should fighters miss weight under the CSAC, they will now surrender 20 percent of their win bonus as well as the standard 20 percent of their show money.
The show money fine would see 10 percent go to the overseeing commission with the other 10 percent allocated to the overweight fighter’s opponent. The entire 20 percent of the win bonus fine will go to the opponent.
When applying for a California license, fighters will be asked the lowest weight class at which they wish to compete. If they wish to go lower they will then need a doctor’s clearance.
“Often times, fighters are hydrated and they have not cut weight for the licensing physical,” CSAC Executive Director Andy Foster said. “They often walk into the licensing room to the doctor at what they walk around at.”
Foster also recommended four new weight classes: 165, 175, 195 and 225 pounds, which were proposed by the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC.) Foster heads the ABC medical committee and previously competed as a fighter for three years.
The current structure of weight classes in the UFC is as follows: 115 (female only,) 125, 135 (male/female,) 145, 155, then 15-pound jumps to 170, 185, a 20-pound jump to 205, and then a heavyweight maximum of 265 pounds.
“Fighters are gonna take every advantage they possibly can…They’re looking at us to help them. They’re not wanting to cut 30 pounds. They don’t want to do that. The only reason they’re doing that is because their opponent is gonna do it.”
CSAC commissioner Luis Ayala also mentioned performing weigh-ins on the same day of an event as an effort to lessen drastic cuts, but that measure has not moved forward. Per MMAFighting.com, five UFC fighters have missed weight due to early weigh-ins already in place.
Recently, the UFC 209 pay-per- view event lost its co-main event between Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov and Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson after Nurmagomedov was sent to the hospital day-of for a failed weight cut. The winner would have been crowned interim lightweight champion and eventually face “Notorious” Conor McGregor.
However, weight cutting is more serious than championships, ticket sales, and pay-per- view buys.
“I’m concerned about somebody dying in the industry for no good reason,” Foster said. “This is a pointless reason to risk your safety.”