Over the last few weeks, there’s been a rash of fighters missing weight for high-profile UFC bouts, from Mackenzie Dern, to Darren Till, to Yoel Romero. In the opinion of UFC welterweight Alan Jouban, there’s an easy way to explain some of these weigh-in misses — particularly the more significant ones.
In Jouban’s eyes, fighters are not missing weight in an overt effort to cheat, as Dominick Cruz and Chael Sonnen both recently claimed. Instead, he feels that oftentimes, fighters will begin cutting weight, realize they’re far too heavy to succeed, then give up rather than attempting to shed their remaining pounds. Jouban considers this cheating, but more of an unplanned, lazy kind of cheating.
“I think it was Dominick Cruz that was kind of leading the charge when Mackenzie Dern came in seven pounds grossly overweight, and he said that he thought this was premeditated,” Jouban said on a recent episode of BJPENN.COM Radio. “[He thought] that this was a ploy. This was something she was doing. She wanted to be the heavier fighter. Obviously she’s a grappler, she wanted to be on top and be heavy.
“I don’t believe that,” Jouban said. “I don’t believe that some woman would premeditate missing weight in order to get an advantage, but I do believe that this is what happens when you’re cutting weight and you know you’re not gonna make it. You’re looking at the scale, and normally you have two pounds to go at this time, but you’ve still got five pounds to go.
“You could do one of two things. You can keep pushing and try to make it to the finish line, although you probably know you’re not gonna make it, and drain yourself down and still miss weight. [You’ll] still miss weight and still pay the penalty, but you’re still gonna try to lose that extra two or three pounds to get as close as you can and weaken your body. Or you can say ‘you know what, I’m not gonna [make it] anyway. I’m not gonna make weight, so I’m just gonna give up, whatever. I’m gonna pay a fine, but at least I’m not gonna starve myself and deplete my body even further. And then I’ll have an advantage in the fight.’
“I believe that’s what fighters are doing,” Jouban concluded. “Fighters are saying ‘shit, I’m not gonna make the weight anyway. Let me just stop now because there’s no point. If I’m three pounds over or I’m one pound over, I’m gonna pay the same penalty. So, I’m gonna just quit now.'”
So how do you stop fighters from undertaking overambitious weight-cuts and missing their marks as a result? In Alan Jouban’s opinion, you have to hit them where it hurts most: right in the bank account.
“Mackenzie Dern [missing by] seven pounds and Darren Till [missing by] three-and-a-half pounds…” Jouban said. “Man, you gotta really hit these guys in the pocketbook.”
“You gotta say ‘look we’re taking your entire win bonus and giving it to your opponent’ or whatever.”
Alan Jouban will return to the cage on July 22, when he takes on Danny Roberts in Hamburg, Germany.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/14/2018.