In the past couple of years, we’ve witnessed a trend in the UFC that’s been rather disheartening. Top tier UFC fighters have received title opportunities not long after missing weight for a fight.
Since this has been occurring, it’s put weight classes in a bit of disarray and often left in confusion as to who is or isn’t the legitimate contender in their respective division.
A prime example of this issue, goes back to when Yoel Romero, a relatively humongous 185’er had missed weight back in February at UFC 221.
Another example of the despicable trait is currently happening in the UFC welterweight division with Darren Till, who himself recently missed weight in his last fight with Stephen Thompson.
Obviously this latest stunt the UFC’s been pulling has left many of fighters in extreme frustration, one of them being UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker who expressed this while attending the UFC Media lunch yesterday.
“It’s like me going down to bantamweight, not making weight, winning because I’m much bigger and then getting a title shot,” said Whittaker, who coaches opposite Kelvin Gastelum on TUF 28. “It’s not fair. It’s not fair. Because on the flip side, the guys that are making weight don’t make it easy. It wasn’t easy to cut weight and make weight and do the job. We still had to struggle, we still had to diet weeks out. We’re just more professional at it. We just did it right.”
The champ stated he at one point contemplated not fighting Romero after him missing weight, but then said at the time that decision would have been nearly impossible to make, as he really wanted to fight, needed to get paid, and most of all did not wanna let any of his fans down.
“The people who do make weight are also in a hard position,” Whittaker said. “Because they’re in a position where they still need to make money to pay the bills, to earn a wage, to do their job. But they also have the support of hundreds of thousands of people who have come to see them fight or that are watching them on TV to watch a fight. The fans. That’s kind of why you fight — they drive the sport.”
“When you ask a guy, ‘Are you gonna take a fight if your opponent doesn’t make weight?’ Is it really asking? Does he really have a choice? When you back them into a corner like that, is there really a choice to be made? You have to look at the whole process behind it.”
Whittaker finds it hard to digest the new unfortunate wave going round in the UFC of fighters getting title shots who are missing weight, in what he believes is another form of cheating.
“It’s a very funny topic, missing weight and getting title shots,” Whittaker said. “I think the punishments should be more severe, but I don’t know.”