Earlier this month, UFC President, Dana White announced that he will be having the UFC move the weigh-in format back to afternoons.
Currently, fighters officially weigh-in in the mornings of the days before fight day. They then do the ceremonial weigh-ins later that day which, is essentially just having the fighters face off one last time before they fight.
There has been little to no positive feedback from the fighters regarding this possible change. Among the many voices is veteran UFC lightweight, James Krause who caught up with BJPenn.com recently to discuss the topic.
“Man, I can see the concern from Dana’s perspective. Long story short, there has to be some sort of sleep involved. The problem is the guys that are cutting it close, they don’t have much time. There’s less time to cut the weight because they have to sleep. Even if you get up at 4:00 AM, you still have to sleep. You know what I mean? But if you were to have weigh-ins at 4:00, you have that whole day.
What’s happening is a couple more people are missing weight, because their program’s not 100 going into it. Dana’s losing a little bit of money over it. I could see his point of view, for sure. But if we’re talking in strictly the subject of fighters’ safety, I think it is not only not smart to push that back, I think it’s irresponsible to push it back.
You can’t tell me, if fighters’ safety is number one on your list, you can’t look me in the eye and tell me that pushing back is a safer, alternative route. It just doesn’t make sense scientifically. It doesn’t make sense in any aspect. They’ve already taken away the IVs, which… Look, man, I’m not a guy that’s going to complain. Just tell me the ruleset, and I’ll play by it.”
Having fought most of his career as a lightweight, Krause has also competed at 170 pounds in the welterweight division where it looks like the rest of his career could play out at.
But in the end, the biggest thing for Krause and surely many others is keeping every athlete safe.
“I keep the term fighters’ safety, fighters’ safety, that’s what they’re all about.” Krause continued, “You can’t tell me fighters’ safety is your number one priority, and then you take away IVs. Okay, so you say the IVs are used to mask steroids. I’m not a steroid user. Awesome, I’m in on that.
Then you can’t look me in the eye and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to take six to eight hours away from your rehydration process, but fighters’ safety is still,’ Now, if you look me in the eye and said, ‘Look, we’re missing out on a lot of money on this. We’re going to push this back,’ You know what I mean? I get it. I understand.
In terms of fighters’ safety, it’s not only wrong, it’s irresponsible. It isn’t going to make sense, those two things aren’t parallel. I understand why he’d want to do it, but it’s just not safe. It’s not safe for any of us to do it. That’s why I’m considering going back up. ’55 is a tough, tough, tough cut for me. I’m going to try ’70, and see what it looks like. I don’t think they’ll ever add that [165-pound weight class] in.
It doesn’t look like fighters’ safety is a concern of anybody’s. I get that. I understand it’s a business. They don’t care about fighters’ safety. They’re trying to make money. I understand it. I get it. Like I said, the fighters’ safety thing, taking IVs away, and pushing the weigh-ins back to their original place. Those two things aren’t parallel to me.”
The weigh-in change has yet to be made and White sounds adamant that it will be made no matter what. Meaning it’s pretty likely that only more backlash will follow.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/25/2018