Why Doesn’t the UFC Use Digital Scales for Weigh Ins?

Weigh-ins are an important aspect of the fight game. To even the playing field, all combat sports require fighters to be on an agreed-upon weight. In the UFC, the process is the same. Though there is a one-pound allowance in the regular bouts, fighters don’t get an ounce’s aid in championship fights. Yet, the promotion still doesn’t always use a digital device during the weigh-ins with such fine margins.


Article continues below this ad

UFC 274 was a prime example of how an analog scale can mess up a high stake contest. Brazilian lightweight standout, Charles Oliveira, strangely missed weight. That too, after suggesting he was on point with it on his social platform.


Article continues below this ad

Oliveira’s team blamed the scale that the Arizona commission had. However, after further inspections, a UFC personnel confirmed no such issues with the scale.


THROWBACK: When Daniel Cormier Tried to Cheat the Weight Scale at UFC 210

almost 2 years ago

However, the question still arises: how did Oliveira, who was a former featherweight; and offered to move back to the division to get the second belt, miss weight? Besides, he was looking fairly healthy on the scale. Why does UFC not use the digital scale to remove any human error while noting the weight and balancing the scales?

Who decides what scales to use at weigh-in?

The state athletic commissions regulate UFC events. Thus, they monitor the weights during weigh-ins. Besides, they decide what type of scale to use while weighing-in fighters.

Such was the case with the Arizona state athletic commission; They used analog weight scales. Longtime UFC analyst Joe Rogan stated Arizona didn’t have the experience of hosting an event of the magnitude of UFC 274. Thus, according to Rogan, the lack of preparation for big fights caused such a mishap to occur with Oliveira’s weigh-in.

How much say does UFC have in weigh-ins?

Even though the UFC prefers regulation from the state commission, it’s not like they can’t host events without that. The promotion has self-regulated its events in places where there is no governing body to oversee the fights. However, it’s not the ideal scenario for them. Thus, they work with a regulating commission instead.

And yes, they can ask the commission for certain favors, but the UFC prefers to stay out of these matters. That said, Dana White claimed they will hire more security to watch over the scales after the UFC 274 debacle.

Are commissions making efforts to remove weight cutting?

Weight-cutting is a big issue in MMA. It has become a necessary evil, since fighters don’t want to go into the Octagon against opponents with any kind of weight advantage. This results in extreme weight cutting, which affects the fighters in the long run.

The California Athletic Commission proposed an idea to cancel the bouts if one fighter missed weight by over 15% of the agreed-upon weight. The idea received a positive response and became a rule in 2019. However, to come into regulation, it was expected to take more time as per a report from ESPN.


Article continues below this ad

The commission regularly monitors the weight of the fighters on the fight day. And even suggests that they move up a division if they are gaining too much weight from the weigh-in day, which shows how much the fighters drained themselves a day before.

Anyhow, coming back to the scale issue, Fighters like Dustin Poirier have openly advocated that a digital scale is best for weigh-ins to know ‘exact numbers’. But there’s no hint from the UFC that they will push for it.


Article continues below this ad

WATCH THIS STORY – Luke Rockhold Being Socially Awkward

Should the UFC go with digital scales in the weigh-ins? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *