As much as he would love for them to, the questions about Daniel Cormier’s intriguing weigh-in for UFC 210 this past Friday aren’t really going away.
But Cormier contends that when it comes to the theory he used a bit of sneak thievery to cheat the scale out of the 1.2 pounds he needed to be on championship weight for his title fight with Anthony Johnson, it’s much ado about nothing.
“People are going to believe what they want to believe,” Cormier today told MMAjunke Radio. “People love conspiracy. People love juicy details and mess. That’s kind of what they’re going with. I weighed in at 205, I fought on Saturday and defended the championship. Now it’s on to the next thing.”
Cormier (19-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) headlined UFC 210 at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. The main card aired on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass. In the headliner, he rematched Johnson (22-6 MMA, 13-6 UFC) and once again submitted him with a rear-naked choke. Johnson announced his retirement after the fight.
But that was just the culmination of the odd news revolving around the bout. It all started with Cormier coming in at 206.2 pounds in his first attempt on the scale. When he came back only a couple minutes later, he was 205.
Some observers looked to video and photos of his second attempt and said he appeared to be holding the towel – and said that was a sneaky method used by boxers and wrestlers for years to help take away an extra pound or a few ounces.
Cormier, an Olympic-level wrestler, said there’s no such thing.
“If any wrestler would know, it would be me, and I’m telling you right now – there is no old-school wrestling towel trick,” he said.
Instead, he has claimed, he merely wanted to make sure the towel wasn’t dropped to expose his natural state to the cameras and everyone in the weigh-ins room – which is what nearly happened after his first attempt when he got off the scale.
Cormier said he had weighed in previously and was coming in on weight on other scales, and thus was fairly confident he should be fine on the official scale.
He also knew if he was off weight, he had an additional two hours to make the 205-pound maximum for the title fight, since that is a rule used by the New York State Athletic Commission for championship bouts, even though that’s not a rule typically in place at a UFC early weigh-in. So worst-case scenario, he and his team knew if he wasn’t 205, they had two hours to go sweat the rest off to become official.
But then his team decided to give it one more try on the official scale a couple minutes later, just in case.
“Everything is moving around – your mind’s like a fuzzy mess at that moment,” Cormier said. “You’re feeling terrible already because of the weight cut in general. Now you’re thinking everything is lost because the scale’s messed up. My nutrionist is like, ‘Let’s just get back on. Then we’ll go upstairs and lose the extra pound (if you’re still over).’ But we were pretty confident the weight was what it was.”
When Cormier returned, he was 205. Johnson weighed in seconds later to make the fight official. And the rest is history … even if the conspiracy theorists want there to be more to the story than Cormier says there is.
For complete coverage of UFC 210, check out the UFC Events section of the site.
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