Thursday 12 December 2019

Mixed Martial Arts 101: The Weigh-In

The official Weigh-In for UFC Dublin will took place today and here’s a brief rundown of what is going to take place and why.

Why do MMA fighters weigh-in?

Mixed Martial Arts bouts occur across a number of different weight categories. These weight categories eliminate the potential for one fighter having a massive size advantage over the other.

The UFC use the 8 weight divisions outlined below. The various weights signify the most a fighter can weigh for each category. The UFC weigh-in is always at 1600 the day before the fight.

Maximum allowed weight


125(lbs)  56.7(kgs)


135(lbs)  61.2(kgs)


145(lbs)  65.8(kgs)


155(lbs)  70.3(kgs)


170(lbs)  77.1(kgs)


185(lbs)  83.9(kgs)

Light Heavyweight

205(lbs)  93.0(kgs)


265(lbs)  120.2(kgs)

What is cutting weight?

Some fighters opt to cut weight in order to weigh in at a lower weight than they would normal walk around at. This is done by reducing their calorie intake significantly in the days leading up to the fight. Fighters will also shed water weight by temporarily dehydrating their bodies.

Cutting weight has become a science in itself of late. Done properly a fighter can reduce his weight to the contracted limit and then refuel and rehydrate to give him a size advantage if the other fighter doesn’t cut weight.

Any error in judgement can have massive effect on the fighters’ performance. Even temporarily dehydrating your body is a risky business and can reduce energy levels significantly. If you get the weight cut very wrong it can have serious health implications.

Not all fighters cut large amounts of weight and very often the weight cut will be overseen by the head coach or a nutritionist to make sure the fighter isn’t pushing his body too far.

What happens if you miss weight?

In general, most fighters will make the required weight with little issue. Fighters have a 1lb tolerance for making weight, so for welterweight you can weigh in at 171lbs and you’re fine. For title fights you must weigh-in at exactly the specified weight.

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