MEMPHIS, Tenn. –There were strange doings at the scale Friday at the weigh-in for UFC 107 at the FedEx Forum, as an unbelievably high six fighters, including lightweight title challenger Diego Sanchez, came in heavy on their first attempt.
Sanchez stripped naked and weighed in a second time after the conclusion of the live-streamed event at 154 1/2 pounds to successfully make the limit for the fight against champion B.J. Penn. The other five fighters also had to get into various states of undress to make it, but all did.
That total doesn't include the fight between Wilson Gouveia and Alan Belcher, which was changed earlier in the day to a catchweight fight with a limit of 195 pounds instead of a middleweight fight with a limit of 186.
Gouveia's team alerted Ultimate Fighting Championship officials earlier in the day that he was unable to cut below 190 pounds. That left two options: Belcher could have made the cut to 185 and Gouveia would have come in overweight and been fined 20 percent of his purse, half of which would have gone to Belcher.
But since Belcher was at 195 when he learned Gouveia couldn't lose any more, he agreed to a catch weight bout. Belcher weighed 195 on the nose and Gouveia came in at 193.
Just prior to the Penn-Sanchez weigh-in, Jeff Mullen, the executive director of the Tennessee Athletic Commission, asked UFC official Burt Watson to recalibrate the scale.
Several times during the event, UFC president Dana White walked over to the scale, crouched down and spoke to Mullen.
"We talked several times during the thing and we were wondering, so we had Burt come over and balance it out right before the main event," Mullen said. "I asked him if we could get Burt to balance the scales down to zero. That's why we did that right before the main event, to make sure there was not a problem. And there was not a problem. Because there were so many questions about it, we wanted to make sure it was right. And it was right."
But there were a lot of perplexed looks from fighters as they stepped onto the scale. Undercard fighter Edgar Garcia was the first and he weighed 173, turning to White with a quizzical look. Mullen said Garcia sweated some weight off in the back. He returned as the crowd was filing out, stripped naked and weighed in at 171 to make the weight for his bout with DaMarques Johnson.
Ricardo Funch was 171 1/2 on his first try, but after removing his shorts and weighing in his underwear, he was 171. His opponent, Johny Hendricks, was 172. He took off his shorts and was 171 1/2. After stripping, he made 171.
Next to have a problem was lightweight Shane Nelson, a protégé of Penn's, who weighed 156 1/2 on his first try. After stripping, he weighed 156.
Sanchez then weighed in at 156, which is a pound over the limit. The fighters are allowed to weigh a pound over the prescribed weight in non-title fights, but in championship bouts must make it on the nose. Sanchez, who appeared in excellent condition, stripped naked to weigh in at 154.5.
In an odd scene, after heavyweights Frank Mir (264 1/2) and Cheick Kongo (239) weighed, Kongo refused to pose in the traditional nose-to-nose staredown with the former UFC heavyweight champion. Mir has repeatedly blasted Kongo's ground game and Kongo felt disrespected.
Instead of posing nose-to-nose, he turned his back to Mir. Mir gestured as if he were going to put a rear naked choke on Kongo and, with a sneer on his face, waved his hand disgustedly at Kongo as he walked away.
- Alan Belcher
- Wilson Gouveia
- Diego Sanchez