UFC fighters have often borne the brunt of an arduous weight-cutting regime. While some of them had their bouts cancelled because of the unreasonable weight difference, some have even forced the UFC to take punitive measures. For instance, Anthony Johnson, who was fired from the promotion following his disastrous weight cut at UFC 144.
The weight cutting process involves the daunting task of starvation, dehydration and intense training sessions that can have adverse effects on a fighter's body. Although a handful of UFC competitors have been accused of taking the fight game for granted by weighing in overweight, it goes without saying that cutting weight is no child's play.
Here, we will take a look at five such instances where UFC fighters missed weight by a big margin.
#1 Rafael Alves missed weight by 11.5 pounds ahead of UFC Vegas 19
Rafael Alves created history - which he will not be proud of - when he tipped the scales at 157.5 pounds ahead of his fight against Patrick Sabatini at the weigh-ins of UFC Vegas 19. Alves was scheduled to fight Sabatini in a featherweight bout, however, the Brazilian exceeded the weight limit by 11.5 pounds. Following the weigh-ins, UFC decided to scrap his bout off the UFC Vegas 19 fight card.
The 32-year-old had successfully made weight the last time he stepped into the octagon. He earned himself a UFC contract after his impressive performance against Alejandro Flores at Dana White's Contender Series in August last year.
Alves later revealed that he ate salmon a day before the weigh-ins that left detrimental side-effects to his body. He claimed that his doctor asked him to drink water in order to get rid of his illness, which ultimately made him gain a few extra pounds.
#2 Anthony Johnson missed weight by 11 pounds
Throughout his decorated UFC career, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson has failed to make weight on three occasions. Johnson commenced his MMA journey as a welterweight, before subsequently switching to middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight divisions.
Ahead of his fight opposite Vitor Belfort at UFC 142 in 2012, the 36-year-old missed weight by a staggering 11 pounds. Johnson was usually competing in the 170-pound division at the time, but he decided to move up one weight class to challenge Belfort as a middleweight contender. Much to his despair, Johnson stepped on to the scale weighing in at 197 pounds.
Belfort had no objection to fighting Johnson who was 11 pounds heavier than him, and ended up submitting Rumble in the first round of the fight. UFC decided to fire Johnson from the promotion before rehiring him again two years later.
#3 Kelvin Gastelum missed weight by 9 pounds
Kelvin Gastelum was considered one of the UFC's brightest prospects back when he defeated Uriah Hall to win the The Ultimate Fighter 17 middleweight tournament in 2013. However, the California native has always had his fair share of trouble when it comes to tipping scales at the right weight.
When Gastelum was scheduled to fight Tyron Woodley at UFC 183 in 2015, he missed weight by nine pounds. The 29-year-old succumbed to a split decision loss against Woodley, who then defeated Robbie Lawler to claim the UFC welterweight championship.
After his loss to Woodley, Gastelum continued fighting in the 170-pound division until he was expected to face Donald Cerrone. The bout never came to fruition, as Gastelum didn't show up at the weigh-ins. He apparently exceeded the weight limit by ten pounds.
UFC president Dana White later said Gastelum would never fight in the welterweight division. He has been competing as a middleweight since.
#4 Charles Oliveira missed weight by 9 pounds
Before Charles Oliveira climbed the ladder of success in the UFC lightweight division, 'Do Bronx' exploited his skills in the 145-pound weight class. During his stint there, Oliveira failed to cut weight on a total of four occasions, making him one of UFC's habitual offenders in failing to make weight.
Ahead of his featherweight bout against Ricardo Lamas in 2016, Oliveira tipped the scales at 155 pounds. He lost the fight via second-round submission, and it would be his final outing in the featherweight division.
Oliveira's course to redemption got underway right after he moved to lightweight division. He hasn't missed making weight since, and has won nine of his last ten fights.
#5 Mackenzie Dern missed weight by 7 pounds
Mackenzie Dern is no stranger to miss making weight - by a large margin. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu veteran joined the UFC in 2018 as a strawweight, and missed weight by seven pounds only in her second fight in the promotion.
The 27-year-old was challenging Amanda Cooper at UFC 224. During the weigh-ins, Dern tipped the scales at 123 pounds, seven pounds heavier than the strawweight limit. She put on a remarkable performance, however, submitting Cooper via rear-naked choke inside three minutes of the first round.
Since then, Dern has been in four UFC fights, and has successfully made weight in all of them. The Brazilian-American last fought Virna Jandiroba at UFC 256, whom she defeated via unanimous decision. She is expected to face a returning Nina Ansaroff on April 10, 2021.