Sherdog – Max Holloway hit the scales at 144.5 pounds as he prepares to defend his featherweight title against the undefeated Ortega (144.75) in the UFC 231 main event this Saturday at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. However, in an ironic turn of events, Renato “Moicano” Carneiro — who was not scheduled to fight but had been kept on hand in case one of the headliners was not cleared to compete — failed to make the weight limit for a title fight, weighing in at 146.
To give some context, the UFC, understandably to a point, has had a long history of having fights and cards collapse at the last moment, which for these purposes we’ll say is a week or so, due to bad weight cuts, injuries, toxic water/wolf tickets, etc. So they came up with a couple ways to combat this.
The first solution is simple: stack a couple more fights featuring contenders from the weight class as the headlining fight on that card. If a headliner drops out, slot one of the other fighters in and find his original opponent a replacement or just pay him and say “sucks”. This works ok, but timing and scheduling doesn’t always work.
The second idea, which they really just recently have started using, is to have an additional fighter at that weight class be ready, be on weight, and then fight weekend get weighed in and medically cleared to fight so that if either fighter in the main event can’t go, they can step in. I think Jacare did it for the last 185lb title fight but I could be wrong.
Needless to say, with all this meticulous planning, care, and finger crossing involved, I laughed out loud today when I read that both of this weekend’s Featherweight Championship headliners, Brian Ortega and Max Holloway, made championship weight but that the fucking back up fighter, Renato Carneiro, did not. He came in at 146lbs, which for a normal fight is fine, but not for this belt, where you have to be 145lbs and not a hair over.
Where does this leave us? Well if either Ortega or the champ Holloway can’t make it to the Octagon, which still isn’t a sure thing, we’re a bit fucked unless another 145er is around, and a few are sure to raise their hands. As for “Moicano”, who was there opportunistically but not really essentially, he now see his stock take a BIG hit as he is now not only seen as unreliable, but as a risk to not make weight in any future title bouts, which after his impressive KO of Cub Swanson could be close down the road.
Hold on to ya butts.