Feeling the Effects of Missing Weight

October 9, 2013 11:21 am by Sean McClure

Thiago Silva failed to make-weight yesterday’s UFC Fight Night 29 weigh-ins and on the surface it may seem like a small misstep, but it can have lasting consequences and effects on a fighter’s career.

Obviously the most significant setback from missing weight is the loss of money. You tend to lose part of what you would collect at the “pay window” for a win, borrowing a phrase from Dusty Rhodes there. 25% was taken in Thiago Silva’s case, and if you miss the target weight by a mile, maybe even more.

Loss of motivation could also be a factor. Demoralization may be a better term. A fighter could feel a sense of despair over losing a large portion of their pay potentially. Some may not, but it is a possibility. When you go to work at your everyday job and find out you are getting 25% less pay your performance level may drop from lack of motivation. Same thing can be said about fighters.

Guilt comes in to play, and that eventually turns in to embarrassment, and then to shame. A fighter has to know that the fact he could not make-weight is front page on all UFC related media sites and that Joe Rogan is going to mention it 100 times through the course of the evening every time your name comes up. Maybe not that much, but still.

Imagine what horrors a fighter is manufacturing in their head about Dana’s true thoughts on the matter. Dana has a tendency to blast fighters publicly and often put them on the proverbial chopping block should they lose. The only things that make Dana angrier are cancelling pay per views and fighters skipping mandatory appearances.

Even after the event is over a fighter now has a feeling of doom and the realization that they will be cut if they fail to make-weight again most likely. Potential stumbling blocks become cutting too much weight or cutting it improperly if they try to over compensate. This is important because it could pose health problems if the latter happens. Improper weight cuts can affect performance, personal health, and training could be affected as well.

The bottom line is that missing weight can have a lasting impact on a fighter’s career in terms of a negative stigma being carried for the duration of their years spent fighting, and health problems if it becomes difficult to make their preferred weight class.

Bottom line: If you start having trouble making weight – move up a weight class. It is better for you in the long run.

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