Weight cutting is a problem in MMA that never seems to go away. Many cards feature fighters missing weight. This issue even reared its ugly head during UFC 274 and compromised the main event. Charles Oliveira missed weight by half a pound and was stripped of his lightweight title. It seems the man, who defeated him at UFC 280, Islam Makhachev may go through similar problems.
In an interview with Submission Radio, Makhachev’s UFC 284 opponent, Alexander Volkanovski was asked how the weight cut may affect his opponent. The P4P #1 then went on to explain how the rehydration rules in Australia may adversely affect his opponent come fight night.
“I think it’ll be a little bit harder for him… He’s probably used to the 30+ [hours],” said Volkanovski. The featherweight champion continued, “In Abu Dhabi, he’s used to a lot of hours. He’s fought there a couple of times. And even America, there’s a lot more as well. Here, again, it’s like 24-26 hours… It’s better for me ’cause I don’t wanna be too big.”
Makhachev’s opponent is referring to the time allotted for rehydration in Australia. It happens to be significantly lesser than what most commissions provide. Unlike Abu Dhabi or the US where fighters usually have well over 30 hours to rehydrate, the land down under provides around a day for the same. Will this affect Islam as Alexander Volkanovski claims? After all, he has had botched weight cuts before.
Islam Makhachev weight cut controversy at UFC 280
Islam Makhachev seemed to have a botched weight cut at UFC 280 in Abu Dhabi. Fans were quick to point out that the needle on the scales hadn’t stopped moving. However, this accusation seemed based on, more than anything, how much difficulty Islam has in making the 155 lbs lightweight limit.
Footage of Makhachev having a horrific weight cut in 2021 merged ahead of his fight against Thiago Moises. The footage went viral with fans concerned for the Dagestani fighter’s well-being. Islam would go on to dominate Moises, quelling all fears. Like his legendary mentor and friend, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Makhachev has a hard time making 155 lbs. However, Islam Makhahchev has not missed weight in his UFC career so far.
Over the years, the UFC has seen fighters whose performances in the Octagon have been compromised because of tough weight cuts. The best example of this would be the retired UFC welterweight, Johny Hendricks.
His initial run was legendary as he beat several elite welterweights, even coming close to beating GSP, with some arguing that he did. However, towards the end of his career, he had extreme difficulties in making the 170 lbs limit and his Octagon showings reflected that.
So far, Islam Makhachev has not exhibited any signs of the weight cut affecting his performances. However, given the fact that his walk-around weight is close to the light heavyweight limit, makes one question how long he can sustain this.