(The moral of the story? When Gina Carano does it, it’s awesome. When Paulo Filho does it, it’s terrible. / Photo courtesy of CombatLifestyle.com)
Anybody can be forgiven for missing weight by a half-pound — as long as it doesn’t become a habit. But when an MMA fighter comes in a full four pounds heavy, as Efrain Escudero did this week for his doomed UFC Fight Night 22 bout against Charles Oliveira, it tends to raise some eyebrows. As we’ve done previously with steroid busts, we decided to catalog the worst scale-fails in MMA history, arranged by number of pounds over the limit. When the information was available, we also listed the punishments the fighters were given, along with their excuses for missing weight, which range from injuries to salt water to the dreaded “menstrual period.” This is by no means a definitive list — but we’d like it be, eventually. So if you know of any other occasions where fighters missed weight by four pounds or more, or missed weight for multiple fights, please let us know in the comments section.
* Note: We’ve eliminated the “Repeat Offenders” section. In the instances where fighters has notably missed weight on more than one occasion (see: A. Johnson, P. Daley, T. Alves), we’ve ranked them in the leaderboard by their greatest weigh-in failure.
Lew Polley @ World Series of Fighting 4
Weigh-in date: 8/9/13
Weight: 237 pounds, 32 over the light-heavyweight limit
WTF?? No idea. We’ll let you know when we find out.
Result: Polley was immediately removed from his scheduled bout against Hans Stringer, and will likely be released from the promotion. Stringer was paid his show-money.
Karl Knothe @ Shark Fights 17
Weigh-in date: 7/14/11
Weight: 253.75 pounds, 23.75 over the 230-pound catchweight limit
How is that even possible? Due to some miscommunication between Knothe and his management, Knothe was never informed that his scheduled bout against Ricco Rodriguez was supposed to be at a catchweight, instead of at heavyweight.
Result: The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation disallowed Knothe from competing due to the large weight-gap and concerns over excessive weight-cutting. Knothe was paid a portion of his salary anyway, while Ricco Rodriguez instead faced 5-12 replacement Doug Williams. Rodriguez won via rear-naked choke in the first round.
Ricardo Mayorga @ Omega MMA: Battle of the Americas
Weigh-in date: 5/2/13
Weight: 175.9 pounds, 20.9 pounds over the limit for his contracted lightweight match against Wesley Tiffer, who came in at 153. Needlessly to say, shoving ensued.
How was this fight even allowed to happen?: The match took place in Managua, Nicaragua — which is Mayorga’s hometown, by the way — and the Nicaraguan combat sports commission that was overseeing the event didn’t seem to have a problem with the ludicrous weight discrepancy. (I hear they’re much more stringent when it comes to cock-fighting.)
Result: Mayorga by TKO after two rounds, aided by a fairly illegal knee to the spine. Stay classy, Ricardo.
Update: The result was overturned to a no-contest the following week due to the illegal blow, and Mayorga was suspended from MMA for three months. Mayorga was last seen smoking an entire pack of cigarettes and giving less than half a fuck.