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18th May 2018

21 of the most shocking weigh-in moments in MMA history

The funny, the freaky and the downright disturbing

Ben Kiely

shocking ufc weigh in

MMA weigh-ins have almost become a side attraction to the main event.

Having no drama the day of weigh-ins feels like a regular occurrence these days. We’ve become so accustomed to seeing fighters miss weight, fights fall through and even physical altercations at the scales, that a drama-free weigh-in seems almost unusual.

So, for those rubberneckers out there who can’t avert their gaze the car wreckage, we bring you 20 of the most shocking weigh-in moments in MMA history,

Stop hitting yourself

When Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm squared off after hitting the scales, it all kicked off. Rousey seemed particularly surly on stage. After scowling her way through weighing-in, she marched right over to Holm for the obligatory staredown.

Remarkably, in the ensuing tussle, she ended up hitting herself in the face using ‘The Preacher’s Daughter’s fist (better than a shin to the neck, we suppose!). She tried putting her fist on Holm’s face, which prompted Holm to go inside her hand. This annoyed the champion. She then used her overhook to try to shrug off Holm’s hand and by doing so, caused it to connect with her face.

Jab City

Flyweights move damn fast. If you need evidence of this, check out the mini-fight UFC veteran Ian McCall had with Manel Kape before his comeback at Rizin 2017.

Bigg Riggs’ rant

Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks was certain he missed weight for his bout against Paulo Borrachinha at UFC 217. So much so that he already had a prepared excuse involving his underwear. Before stepping onto the scales, he recounted the whole story behind why he was going to miss weight including the finer details. He warned the media not to write anything negative about his presumed failure to hit 186 lbs.

Then he weighed in 0.2lbs under the limit…


This incident has left an indelible mark on Daniel Cormier’s record. It was looking bad for DC at the weigh-ins for his rematch against Anthony Johnson. He emerged just before the deadline and his weight read as 206.2 lbs, 1.2 lbs over championship weight.

All hope seemed lost… for three minutes. When he came back, he was 205 lb on the button.

His use of the towel was made suspicious by the videos explaining how a towel could be used to trick a scale into displaying a lighter weight.

Piece of piss

This one comes from the Universal Reality Combat Championship event in the Philippines.

After Kiko Matos came face to face with opponent Baron Geisler for a staredown, he pulled out a squirt-bottle of his own urine from behind his back and sprayed it at his adversary.

As you do.

Wedding bells

“So how did he pop the question?”

“Well, he bent down on one knee… shirtless… on stage… in front of a room full of strangers… and a man who strangled him into submission the following night.”

Not another towel movie

Never let Justin Gaethje attempt to hide your shame. Max Holloway learned this lesson when he flashed everyone at the UFC 218 weigh-ins.

shocking ufc weigh in

Caught staring

At the UFC Fight Night Rose Namajunas vs Paige VanZant weigh-ins one of the female officials on stage was caught having a gawk at several male fighters as they stripped off.

shocking ufc weigh in

Another one

Yeah, dudes do it too. Remember that cop who was stung checking out Miesha Tate?

shocking ufc weigh in

Nice try

At Bellator 180, Sergio da Silva gave everyone a lesson on how not to cheat on the scales. He tried everything in his power to fake making weight.

First, he tried to take one foot off the scales and rest it on the ground. However, the commission caught this straight away. Then refused to stand still, before resting his weight on different corners of the scales.

After all that, he weighed in at 137.6lbs was recorded. Funny thing is, the bout was set to be a catchweight 130 lb affair, so he faced no penalties for coming in heavy. His opponent Matt Rizzo weighed in at 133 lbs.


Hardly surprising that Mizuto Hirota was forced to pull out of his scheduled bout against Charles Rosa after this terrifying weigh-in for UFC Japan. He came in four pounds over the featherweight limit.


If you thought that was bad, wait until you see Daniel Lima at Pancrase 290. Having only fought at flyweight before this bout, he was set to make his strawweight debut.

Unable to walk himself to the scales, two men needed to carry him by each arm in order for him to weigh in. Clearly drained, he was barely able to remain standing as he waited to see what his weight read.


Maybe interviewing fighters before they’ve had a chance to properly rehydrate isn’t the best idea. Don’t believe us? Watch Luke Rockhold talking to Megan Olivi after the UFC 221 weigh-ins and get back to us.

The first lost title fight

We never got to see Travis Lutter fight Anderson Silva for the middleweight championship. So UFC 67 became the first PPV not to feature a title fight.

Lutter weighed in at 187 lbs on the first attempt, and 186.5 two hours later. So his scheduled bout against ‘the Spider’  was changed to a three-round, non-title bout.

shocking ufc weigh in

The cancelled interim lightweight title fight

At the third time of asking, it felt like we were finally going to see Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurnmagomedov fight at UFC 209. The interim strap also meant that we had up to five rounds to look forward to.

Then, on the day of the weigh-ins, Nurmagomedov never showed up. The Dagestani was rushed to the hospital the night before due to a botched weight-cut and the fight never happened. (Sigh, it probably never will).

UFC 223

At the fourth time of asking… oh forget it!

Considering all the drama surrounding Tony Ferguson’s pull-out on April Fools’ day and the bus attack involving Conor McGregor, it’s easy to forget just how mad UFC 223’s weigh-ins were. Max Holloway was all set to fight Khabib to become just the second fighter to hold two UFC belts simultaneously. Then, on the day of the weigh-ins, Holloway was deemed medically unfit to compete and was removed from the event.

So the scramble began.

First, it was thought that former champion Anthony Pettis would step in to fight Khabib. With his scheduled opponent Michael Chiesa ruled out due to a cut suffered in the bus attack, the former lightweight champion appeared to be a shoe-in. However, he couldn’t reach an agreement with the promotion.

Then, Paul Felder was in line for the crack. Unfortunately, because he wasn’t ranked, the commission wouldn’t sanction him for a title fight. So then, we ended up with Felder’s scheduled opponent, number 12-ranked Al Iaquinta. Yes, the man who had several high-profile clashes with the promotion was suddenly in the main event of a PPV.

‘Ragin’ Al’ was comprehensively beaten over five rounds, but his display of heart saw him win over a lot of fans.

shocking ufc weigh in

The heavies

Kelvin Gastelum once came in nine pounds over the welterweight limit for his bout against Tyron Woodley. He now fights at middleweight.

shocking ufc weigh in

The heavier

After missing the welterweight limit a few times, Anthony Johnson made his ‘middleweight debut against Vitor Belfort. ‘Rumble’ came in 11 pounds over the limit. He was released, came back as a fan favourite at light heavyweight and even beat Andrei Arlovski in a heavyweight contest.

shocking ufc weigh in

The heaviest?

Nick Gonzalez came in at 172.75 pounds for his lightweight fight against Ryan Couture at Bellator 143.

No, no, you read that correctly. It was a lightweight contest. While Couture weighed in at 155.5 lbs, Gonzalez came in 16.75 lbs over the limit. Unsurprisingly, the fight was scrapped.

weigh in

No, that’s too heavy

Roley Polley himself, Lew Polley once came in a whopping 32 lbs overweight for a light heavyweight contest in Bellator. You may remember him as the first coach to get kicked off The Ultimate Fighter.


Former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia really takes the biscuit… tin. For his scheduled to fight Juliano “Banana” Coutinho in the main event of Reality Fighting 53, he weighed in at a scale-shattering 371lbs.

To put it into context, the maximum weight a heavyweight can be in the UFC is 106 lbs lighter than that at 265lbs. Sylvia retired after being pulled from the fight.