BUFFALO, N.Y. – If you thought had some drama in March, they had nothing on UFC 210.
At today’s early and official weigh-ins for Saturday’s event in Buffalo, N.Y., headliners (18-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) and (22-5 MMA, 13-5 UFC) finally showed up to the weigh-in room with about five minutes to spare in the UFC’s two-hour window.
When light heavyweight champion Cormier stepped on the scale, he was over the title-fight limit by 1.2 pounds at 206.2. Had that weight stuck, it would’ve shifted the fight to a non-title bout. But Cormier returned about two minutes later – and hit the number on the nose at 205 pounds.
Johnson weighed in with seconds to spare in the two-hour window and was 203.8 pounds, making the title fight official for Saturday’s main event at KeyBank Center in Buffalo. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.
After Cormier made weight, there was much speculation on why he was allowed to weigh in a second time, and obvious interest in how he was able to shed 1.2 pounds in a matter of a couple minutes.
New York State Athletic Commission executive director Tony Giardina said the state’s policy differs for title fights – and that fighters in championship bouts are allowed an additional two hours if they come in over the title-fight limit. Non-championship bouts aren’t afforded the same luxury.
“The policy of the athletic commission in championship bouts is to allow fighters to get on the scale a second time if they are overweight the first time they get on the scale,” Giardina said. “He came in, he was 1.2 pounds overweight the first time he got on the scale. He’s allowed, per commission policy, up to two hours to get back on the scale. He came back a short time after and he weighed in exactly at 205. So according to the commission policy, it’s a legal weigh-in and he’s right on weight.
“For non-championship fights, the policy is that the fighter gets on the scale and if they’re overweight, they can’t leave. They can drop their drawers and get on the scale again – but that would be the final weigh-in. There is a distinction between championship and non-championship fights, and this is a championship fight. We’re following that policy.”
In most instances in the UFC’s new early weigh-in policy, which started this past year, fighters are only allowed to get on the scale in the two-hour window – and if they miss the mark, it’s their only chance.
But Giardina said the NYSAC policy would overrule the UFC’s policy – and the championship-bout fighters are given an extra two hours, meaning Cormier would’ve been allowed to return to the scale as late as nearly 1 p.m. ET.
“Technically, we give two hours,” Giardina said. “The UFC has a different rule, but we would’ve given him two (additional) hours. Our policy would control (the situation). We would’ve allowed him to re-weigh up to two hours after the scheduled weigh-in.”
Giardina said he was unaware of what method Cormier used to shed the additional weight in such a short amount of time. He used a towel during his initial weigh-in, and used it again on the second try.
Giardina also told MMAjunkie he did not know whether or not Johnson waited to get on the scale until after he knew if Cormier was going to make weight or not, though Johnson coming in well under the 205-pound limit would indicate he wasn’t struggling to make weight to need the full two-hour window.
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