Tuesday, April 23

10 Most Insane Weight Cuts In UFC History

Highlights

  • Fighters often cut weight to have a size advantage in their weight class, risking their health in the process.
  • Extreme weight cuts have led to fighters missing weight, impacting their performance and career success.
  • Professional fighters like Chris Weidman and Daniel Cormier have faced challenges with weight cuts but maintained professionalism.



MMA is a brutal sport when it comes to managing which weight class a fighter should fight in. Many fighters elect to fight at their natural weight so they are not depleted before a fight. However, most choose to cut down a class from their regular weight to have a size advantage.

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This approach has led numerous UFC fighters to undergo incredibly extreme weight cuts. While it has proven advantageous for athletes like Max Holloway, it has posed severe risks to others, resulting in them entering fight night as significant threats to their own well-being.


10 Yoel Romero Was Bigger Than His Opponents At Middleweight

‘The Soldier Of God’ Frequently Rehydrated To Over 205 Pounds

Yoel Romero UFC 248
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

  • Romero missed weight twice in his MMA career.
  • He has competed at middleweight and light heavyweight.


If Yoel Romero had maintained more consistency in making weight inside the Octagon, he would undoubtedly be revered as one of the greatest Middleweights in UFC history. Despite transitioning to the more fitting 205-pound division in Bellator, Romero faced significant challenges with weight cuts to 185 pounds during his time in the UFC.

At UFC 221, Romero defeated the Middleweight Champion Luke Rockhold but didn’t leave with the belt as he weighed in 2.7 pounds too heavy. He would then miss weight again before a title fight against Robert Whittaker and would leave the UFC two losses later.

9 Chris Weidman Struggled To Make Weight

The Former Middleweight UFC Champion Almost Died

chris weidman ufc on fox 2

  • Weidman suffered a near-death experience with weight cutting.
  • The former middleweight champion has never missed weight.


Whether we have seen the last of Chris Weidman inside the Octagon is something we don’t know. However, we do know that Weidman is a symbol of professionalism considering how much weight he cuts to make it to Middleweight.

Weidman once cut 32 pounds in just 10 days to be eligible for a fight against Demian Maia at UFC on Fox 2. He would briefly move to Light Heavyweight to avoid cutting so much weight, but was knocked back down to Middleweight by Dominick Reyes.

8 Daniel Cormier Was One Of The Shortest Heavyweights

‘DC’ Balloned Up To 236 Pounds When Weighing In At 205

  • Cormier was the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Champion before his UFC career.
  • He moved down to light Heavyweight to avoid fighting his close friend Cain Velasquez at heavyweight.


Daniel Cormier may stand at just 5’11, but there is a good reason he fought at Heavyweight while weighing in at nearly 250 pounds. It boggles the mind that Cormier would regularly weigh-in at 205 pounds for a majority of his UFC career.

Cormier is no stranger to controversial weigh-ins, visibly struggling to make weight towards during his Light Heavyweight era. He had the towel-gate incident at UFC 210 and looked like a husk of a man while weighing in at UFC 214 for his grudge-match against rival Jon Jones.

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7 Kenny Florian Jumped Multiple Weight Classes

Florian Competed In 185, 170, 155 and 145 Pounds.

Kenny Florian Press Conference
Via MMA Mania

  • Florian compared cutting weight to 145 as a taste of death.
  • He is also one of only two fighters in history to compete in four different weight classes in the UFC.


The incredible weight-cutting stories of Kenny Florian are often understated. This is a man that debuted in the UFC as a Middleweight on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter. However, he would move down to Welterweight as he was very undersized for the 185-pound division.

K-Flo wouldn’t stop at Welterweight, having some of the greatest success of his career at Lightweight. That is when Florian pushed too hard and moved down to Featherweight, getting smoked by Jose Aldo in one of his two 145-pound bouts. While Florian made weight for both fights, his ghostly look at the weigh-ins signaled to everyone that this was the last time he would do so. It was, as Florian retired after the Aldo loss.

6 Mizuto Hirota Competed In Two Weight Classes

He Was Once Forced To Pull Out Of A Fight


  • Hirota was 1-7 in his UFC fights.
  • He had most of his success at lightweight.

A weight-cutting scare on weigh-in day is something that is hard to forget. But what happened with UFC debutant Mizuto Hirota ahead of a Featherweight bout against Rani Yahya in his home country of Japan is often forgotten.

Hirota had fought primarily at Lightweight prior to joining the UFC, even having Welterweight bouts under his belt. So, the cut to 145 was more than challenging for Hirota. At weigh-ins ahead of UFC Fight Night in Japan, Hirota barely made the 146-pound limit and had to be helped on and off the scale. The video of him swaying on the scale is quite scary to see for those that know the dangers of weight cutting. During his second stint in the UFC, he was forced out of a fight against Charles Rosa due to struggling at the weigh-in.


5 Johny Hendricks Admitted To Having Unhealthy Eating Habits

He Missed Weight Three Times Toward The End Of His Career

johny hendricks pre fight
Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Event

Welterweight

Opponent

Result

UFC 200

Missed Weight

Kelvin Gastelum

Gastelum wins by unanimous decision

UFC 207: Nunes vs. Rousey

Missed Weight

Neil Magny

Magny wins by unanimous decision

UFC Fight Night: Chiesa vs. Lee

Missed Weight

Tim Boetsch

Boetsch wins by TKO (punches)

Some of the scariest weight-cutting stories in UFC history belong to former Welterweight Champion Johny Hendricks. His peak saw him lose a fight to Georges St-Pierre that many still swear he won, but the downfall was incredibly quick and shocking to see.


Hendricks looked like a ghost at UFC 200 when he failed to make 170-pounds for a fight against fellow weight-struggler Kelvin Gastelum. Hendricks would miss weight again at UFC 207 and move up to Middleweight, where he would miss weight ahead of a Fight Night in 2017. He lost two in a row and had an abrupt retirement in 2017.

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4 Max Holloway Attempted One Of The Boldest Weight Cuts

‘Blessed’ Has Competed At Lightweight

  • Holloway’s weight cutting was blamed for his health scare ahead of UFC 231.
  • The former featherweight king has denied he has issues cutting weight.

For someone that really struggles to cut weight to Featherweight, Max Holloway is arguably the greatest fighter in the history of the division. But that doesn’t mean it has been easy for him, as Holloway’s weight-cuts have often raised concern from fans and officials alike.


Holloway looks noticeably sunken while weighing in at 145. Along with that, he once struggled to make Lightweight on short notice to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov, with the UFC stepping in and stopping his cut after he looked extremely tired at a press call. Holloway is still going strong at 145, but it will be interesting to see for how long.

3 James Irvin Competed In Three Weight Classes

Irvin’s Move To Middleweight Was Ill-Advised

James irvin after losing to Alessio Sakara

The decision to let James Irvin fight at Middleweight seems absolutely ludicrous on paper, but it is something that happened in the real world in 2010 at UFC on Versus 1. After getting knocked out by Brazilian legend Anderson Silva in a minute at Light Heavyweight while testing positive for banned substances, Irvin decided his best career move was to go to Middleweight. It wasn’t.


Irvin was matched up against Alessio Sakara in his Middleweight debut and it was an unpleasant sight. Irvin looked to have drained every last drop of water from his body and looked like half the fighter inside the cage. Sakara knocked Irvin out with ease and he would immediately return to fighting people at Light Heavyweight.

2 Conor McGregor Looked Like A Skeleton At Featherweight

‘The Notorious’ Famously Never Missed Weight

Conor McGregor 145 pounds

  • McGregor has competed in three weight classes.
  • In 2024, he teased a move to middleweight.

Conor McGregor is one of the best strikers of all time and arguably the biggest MMA star to have ever graced the Octagon. That being said, it is absolutely insane he had to cut to 145-pounds to rise up the ranks in the way that he did. McGregor packed more power in his natural Lightweight frame than Featherweights could handle and made his name out of knocking them out.


McGregor’s weigh-in prior to a fight against Dennis SIver in 2014 is all the photographic evidence one will need. McGregor looks completely dehydrated and would continue to look so throughout his Featherweight career. The decision to fight at 155 and 170 was much more natural for him and he looked much healthier in those weight classes.

1 Anthony Johnson Was Cut By The UFC For Missing Weight

The Late UFC Star Competed In Four Weight Classes During His MMA Career

Anthony Johnson UFC 142

  • ‘Rumble’ missed weight four times in his career.
  • He was most successful as a light heavyweight.

Of course, the fighter that went from being a Welterweight to a 330-pound body-builder headlines this list. Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson had a bright start in the UFC with his freakish knockout power for the 170-pound division. However, he would miss weight in his second fight with the promotion by 7 pounds.


Johnson would then go on to miss weight again by 6 pounds a few years later, before deciding to move up to Middleweight and missing weight by 12 pounds ahead of his debut against Vitor Belfort. Johnson then found a stable home at Light Heavyweight before retiring in 2017 to become a body-builder. He would cut down to 205 again and made a return to fighting with Bellator in 2021.

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