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Does Israel Adesanya have the right idea about weight cuts?

Israel Adesanya has a solution to missing weight
Israel Adesanya has a solution to missing weight
Modified 01 Oct 2020, 06:52 IST

Immediately after the UFC Middleweight Champion, Israel Adesanya disposed of Paulo Costa, he made his feelings known about a serious topic. What to do with fighters that miss weight?

Israel Adesanya made his feelings known crystal clear to UFC President Dana White. Post-fight, he delved deeper about it to the press.

Perhaps the fact that Israel Adesanya's City Kickboxing teammate "Sugar" Shane Young's opponent Ludovit Klein came in four pounds heavy, was the final straw for the New Zealander. The fact that Klein then made quick work of Shane probably didn't help matters either.

Israel Adesanya said he'd like to see fighters that don't make weight lose 90% of their purse. He also said that plenty of fighters have lots of side money coming in.

There's a couple of problems with Israel Adesanya's solution. First and foremost, it's not up to the UFC or any other organization for that matter. It's the athletic commissions who can make a decision on this.

The second issue with Israel Adesanya's solution is that the upper half percent of fighters that actually have no money issues rarely miss weight. Also, if fighters can't or won't (depending on yout beliefs) unionize for deeper issues, there's no way they'd all come together on this one. Add in the fact that women have physical issues, that men don't have, which plays a major role when it comes to weight cuts.

To take 90% from the majority of fighters that struggle as it is financially is barbaric. Looking down the barrel of a gun like that, might make some fighters more careful. But sometimes the human body just can't take it anymore.

Plus the taxman, along with agents, managers and trainers all would still take from the original gross pay.

So in effect, it might cost fighters to fight. Now should there be some ultimate crackdown on weight cutting mishaps? Absolutely.

Recently commissions have pushed for fighters that miss more than once to go up a weight class. There are plenty of other options that have been discussed and considered by those high on the food chain, like an Andy Foster and a Mike Mazzulli.


Regular hydration testing and narrowing the gap between divisions have already been discussed. Another one is a plan that's highly endorsed by Chael Sonnen, Georges St-Pierre, and Randy Couture where they suggested there should be fight day weigh-ins.

Instead of looking for just one magic bullet solution, what actually might be best is a combo of them all. Plus, one more solution that's starting to get some steam behind it, was talked about by "Big" John McCarthy. That's taking a point from the fighter missing weight in the fight and John Thompson expanded on it by saying if a fighter misses by one to three pounds take a point away and if they are off the mark four to six, then there should be a deduction by two.

That would be the ultimate deterrent. Because should a fight go to the judge's scorecards and you missed weight by say five pounds, those two points will most likely cost you a win.

So perhaps Israel Adesanya, who has a top three in cage fight IQ (next to Jon Jones and Tony Ferguson), has his heart in the right place on this one. But his mind is slightly off.

Published 01 Oct 2020, 06:52 IST
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