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The Weight-Cutting Chronicles: UFC Glendale (UFC on FOX 29)

The Weight-Cutting Chronicles No. 10 – UFC Glendale: Dustin Poirier vs. Justin Gaethje

Intro to Weight-Cutting Chronicles

Like it or not, weight-cutting is deeply rooted in mixed martial arts. MMA adopted its weight-cutting from the sport of wrestling, where it is presumed to be very advantageous to be the biggest and strongest in your weight class. Known as the ‘fight before the fight‘ most UFC fighters cut anywhere from 5-25lbs, with some fighters even in excess of 30lbs. Weight-cutting is the ultimate test of discipline and will power. Many fighters in the sport consider it very unprofessional to miss weight. In this series, I am going to shine a light on fighters who cut a massive amount of weight, who have missed weight multiple times in the past, who have made weight-class changes, along with how the weight-cut and weigh-in could affect possible upcoming matchups. Basically every aspect of weight-cutting and how it affects the fight game in the UFC.

UFC Superstar Conor McGregor at different weight classes.

Let’s take a look at fighters who have struggled with weight cuts in the past, or are making a debut in a new weight class for UFC Glendale: Dustin Poirier vs Justin Gaethje

UFC Glendale Fight Pass Prelims

 Lauren “Princess Tiger” Mueller (4-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC)

Shana “Danger” Dobson (3-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC)

Lauren Mueller is making her UFC debut in the flyweight division. Her last fight was actually on Dana White’s Contender Series where she fought at 135lbs. Mueller won a unanimous decision victory of Kelly McGill-Velasco and got signed to the UFC in the following month in order to help fill the UFC’s brand new flyweight division.

Before this fight all of her other fights in the Gladiator Challenge were also in the bantamweight division. Due to the fact that this is Mueller’s first weight cut to 125lbs. and this is her debut, she is definitely a fighter to keep an eye on when she weighs in.

Matthew Lopez (10-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) vs.

Alejandro “El Diablito” Perez (19-6-1 MMA, 5-1-1 UFC)

Lopez missed weight in his last fight weighing in at 138.5 lbs. This fight was against the stud Raphael Assuncao and Lopez lost by KO in the third round.  In his four fights in the UFC, he has missed weight once and every other time he has weighed in at 136lbs. right on the dot. Lopez has even missed weight a couple times before he even got to the UFC. Making bantamweight is obviously a very tough cut for Matthew as he stands at 5’7″ and has a 70″ reach. Lopez is definitely a guy to watch on the scale of Friday the 13th and hopefully he can make weight without draining himself too much for the fight the next day against Perez.

 

Gilbert  “Durinho”  Burns (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) vs.

Dan “The Hitman” Moret (13-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC)

Burns was supposed to fight on the last fox card back on February 24. Burns entered fight week and was deemed too heavy to even attempt to cut weight so his fight against Olivier Aubin-Mercier had to be scrapped. Burns has pulled out of a total of three fights in the past three years. Burns pulled out of two of these fights for injury and the last for weight cutting. Burns also missed weight badly when he use to fight in CEF as well. Burns is 5’10” and has a 71″ reach he is very stocky and carries a lot of muscle mass especially for the lightweight division.

Dan Moret is making his UFC debut. His last two fights were in the lightweight division but before that he was pretty much a featherweight fighter. Moret is  6’0″ and has a 72.5″ reach so he is a little longer than Burns. Moret might be the bigger man in terms of height and reach in this match up but make no mistake he is giving up weight to Burns.

UFC Glendale FOX Televised Prelims

Wilson Reis (22-8 MMA, 6-4 UFC) vs.

John “Chicano” Moraga (18-6 MMA, 7-5 UFC)

 

Reis is currently of a two-fight losing streak. Reis challenged the #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world in Demetrious Johnson in April of last year and lost in the third-round by one of the most fantastic arm bar techniques. After this fight, in Wilson’s most recent appearance in the octagon he took on Henry Cejudo just five months later. Cejudo dominated and KOd Reis in the second round of the fight earning himself a bonus.

 

 

Moraga has weighed in at 126lbs. on the dot for 10 of his 12 total UFC fights. Everything has to go smoothly through training camp and fight week in order for Moraga to safely make weight and have his best performance the next day. In Moraga’s last time out, he pulled off a huge upset against the rising Russian prospect Magomed Bibulatov by first round KO and earned himself a Performance of the Night bonus.

 

Reis and Moraga are two huge flyweights being 33 and 34 respectively. This is getting up there in age for the smallest men’s weight class. Reis is on a two fight losing streak and had his crack at the greatest just last year.  Moraga on the other hand is on a two-fight win streak and faced Mighty Mouse way back in 2013.

 

Antonio “Cara De Sapato” Carlos Junior (9-2, 1 NC MMA , 6-2, 1 NC UFC) vs.

Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch (21-11 MMA, 12-10 UFC)

Antonio Carlos Junior began his UFC career at heavyweight back in 2014 where he weighed in at a very small 212lbs. but still pulled out the win. (Its worth noting that Junior was matched up with an equally undersized heavyweight for this fight). Next, he took on Patrick Cummins at light-heavyweight and lost a unanimous decision in June 2015. With this fight he deiced to drop down another weight class to middleweight save for a no contest to Kevin Casey and an 3rd round TKO to Daniel Kelly the Brazilian has been on quite a roll. Antonio is 28 years old.

Boetsch is a long time UFC roster staple. Boetsch had his first fight in the UFC  way back in 2008 at UFC 81. Boetsch was a light heavyweight back then and has fought in that weight class seven times in the UFC. Recently Boetsch has been in a bit of a rough patch only going against the highest level of competition that is the UFC’s middleweight division and out of seven fights he has only earned three victories. Losing to guys like Ronaldo Souza in Febuary 2017, Dan Henderson in 2015 and Luke Rockhold in 2014. Boetsch has really been through the ringer and isn’t afraid to fight top notch guys. In his last time out he put away Johny Hendricks by KO in June of last year. At 37, Boetsch is definitely a guy to watch on the scale considering the older you get the harder it is for that weight to come off. This is a real crossroads fight and should be a good one for the fans.

UFC Glendale Main Card

Michelle “The Karate Hottie Waterson (14-6 MMA, 2-2 UFC) vs.

Cortney “Cast Iron”  Casey (7-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC)

Waterson was the atomweight champion in Invicta FC before she came to the UFC. The atomweight division is not currently in the UFC but it is for fighters at 105lbs. It should go without saying that Waterson is a pretty small strawweight but she has not met a large fighter in her weight class. She is currently on a two-fight losing streak and lost her last fight to Tecia Torres by unanimous decision.  In the fight before that Waterson took on the current strawweight champ in Rose Namajunas and was submitted by rear naked choke. The Karate Hottie’s last win was by way of rear naked choke in the very first round against UFC star Paige VanZant in December of 2016 who is also a pretty big strawweight considering that she has since moved up to flyweight.

 

 

Cast Iron has fought at flyweight before but her last fight in that division was in October of 2013 in a loss to former UFC fighter Pearl Gonzalez for the belt in XFC.  Cortney Casey cuts a lot of weight and despite entering the UFC in just 2015 she has had a lot of top level competition, hence her unimpressive UFC record of 3-4. Casey has lost to Joanne Calderwood, Claudia Gadelha and most recently lost a split decision to Felice Herrig in December of last year. But, Cortney has never been finished in the UFC even with the exceptional competition that she has been matched up against, she is always game and incredibly intense.

Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier (22-5 MMA, 14-4 UFC)

vs. Justin “The Highlight” Gaethje (18-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC)

Poirier had an extensive run in the featherweight division earlier in his UFC career. Poirier made his debut in 2011 back at UFC 125.  He beat a very young Max Holloway and Diego Brandao at 145lbs. Out of Poirier’s  losses in the UFC, three of them came when he was in the featherweight division and all to elite competition. Dustin’s losses include Chan Sung Jung, Cub Swanson and future featherweight champ Conor McGregor. After this loss in 2014, ‘The Diamond’ moved up to the lightweight division and has been there ever since, only losing one fight to Michael Johnson while in this weight class. Poirier is the diamond in the rough of the lightweight division it seems like he is always overlooked and underestimated. While at lightweight in the UFC, Poirier has been putting in work.

The Diamond KO’d Yancy Medeiros in June of 2015

KO’d Bobby Green in June of 2016

Most recently TKO’d Anthony Pettis in November of last year

And it is also worth mentioning that in Dustin’s fight that was declared a no contest against Eddie Alvarez he was laying a beating on the former lightweight champ. And then he landed an illegal knee that caused the fight to be stopped but make no mistake Alvarez was hurt and in trouble. This is significant because Justin Gaethje’s only loss in the UFC is to the underground king. (If you believe in MMA math)

Here We Go

There are a bunch of fighters to look out for on this card in terms of possibly missing weight. Lots of fighters that have been at different weight classes in the past and are now in new ones. This is a FOX card and it is huge with a grand total of 14 fights booked, but the weigh ins are on Friday the 13th so we will see if that brings good luck, or bad luck to the fighters.

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North Carolina native and University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Former wrestler, and washed up football and rugby player. I love all things combat sports and when I'm not studying I enjoy training in Brazilan Jiu Jistu and Muay Thai . I am also a W.I.T.S certified personal trainer,

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