Dana White: If You Can’t Make Weight Don’t Take The Fight


After the recent tragedy involving 26 year old Brazilian MMA fighter Leandro Souza, the issue of huge weight cuts have become part of the ever growing MMA debate for fans. It seems that the issue may be becoming more prominent in the minds of promoters and fighters. 

In this case, Dana White and Anderson Silva give their two cents about dramatic weight cuts. Check out what Silva had to say at the Rio De Janeiro stop of the UFC world tour:

“I have proper nutrition. I have a lot of time to make weight . When I get to the fight, I always get there four or five kilos above (nine to 11 pounds), at the most, and I can lose that weight very easily. I don’t wait to lose weight on the last minute.”

Besides sapping your hydration and energy levels, weight cutting in a very short window can cause major damage to the bodies organs. Just ask Daniel Cormier.

“I think the biggest problem is for athletes to accept fights at the last minute and wait to cut weight in the last minute,” he added. “No one can do that. There is no way you can recover your weight from one day to the next.”

Silva is quite right about that, fighters shouldn’t be accepting short notice fights when they are 20 kilos overweight; but the opportunity to fight in the biggest MMA stages doesn’t come around very often. When it does, it’s no wonder that guys would risk so much.

They are fighters after all, and they are willing to put their lives on the line to fight. The line should be drawn to in the cage, the dangers of weight cutting are severely outweighing the perils of weight cutting at present. UFC prez Dana White then chimed in:

“Where you see the dangerous situations are the guys that take last-minute fights and have to lose a ton of weight. It’s never good, In the UFC, these guys have plenty of time. They know when they have to fight. They know the time they have. They diet and do the proper nutrition to get down the right way. When they get closer (to weigh-ins), they cut a few pounds. That’s the healthy, normal way to do it.”

“I don’t think that the cutting weight process is ever going to be perfect, but I said it today in an interview I did with a gentleman earlier, I don’t care what level you fight on, no fight is worth dying over.”

This is a message that needs to be broadcast loud and clear, I personally don’t want this to become a problem that threatens the sport of MMA. It doesn’t take much to start a witch hunt now days, and weight related deaths would be a huge advantage for the narrow minded assholes politicians who see MMA as some sort of evil cult.

This is only the secondary reason, behind the quite obvious fact that it is a deadly gamble. Hopefully we see and end to this grim subject soon. White had some final words on the subject:

“If you can’t make the weight, don’t take the fight.”

  • I feel that if a promotion wants a fighter on short notice, say < 1week, there should be a clause that allows them to use a catch weight. This won't protect fighters who neglect to diet properly and try to dump weight nights before the fight. However to expect a fighter to drop 20-30 pounds in under a week, when they are more than likely going to take the fight, is unethical IMO.

    • @bantam, yeah I do wonder why promotions offer a fight to someone that is clearly out of weight range. surely it is a huge factor

    • There's a lot of unethical stuff that goes on in sports. MMA in general and the UFC specifically, aren't even a blip on that radar screen.

      • I hate to be rude but it is increasingly obvious you have no idea what you are talking about. Prize fighting is by far the worst regulated, judged, and reffed sport. Mma has huge problems. You may not know because you just watch it on tv but anyone who coaches, corners, trains, fights all know. The UFC may have the best track record, but only in an honor among thieves way. MMA will implode if these issues don't get resolved and more isn't done to make the sport legitimate.

        I highly suggest you do more research since you are a "writer". I am sure there are local gyms around you, if not go to the nearest city and learn to write something with substance.

        • I suggest you take a course in understanding the written word. I referenced "all sports".

          In terms of your expertise, do you have a website, books, videos or any accreditation that you can point out, that establishes your expertise and its dominion over other people's subjective opinions?

          In terms of what you know about me, you know squat. You claiming otherwise is simply proof of the fact that you make unsubstantiated claims.

          Perhaps the problem is that you're neither the fan, expert or intellectual that you believe yourself to be. At least that's how you example yourself.

          • Dude MMa is one of the worst violators of every aspect of professional sports because of the lack of oversight by a real governing body. It's a danger to the athletes. I train athletes in Judo who compete in MMa. You can ask me any specific question you want regarding scoring, rules, etc. I have cornered 3 pro fights in Dallas, been a corner man in San Antonio for 2 amateur bouts. Have a black belt in Judo and Bjj. Bjj from Vandry/ machado. The gym I train at now has Tim Kenedy in on a regular basis. So yeah I am not only a fan but have actual expierance. Just because I am not blind to the impending doom doesn't mean it's not there.

            So yeah when fighters die because there is a lack of oversight it's a huge blip on the radar.

          • ohhhhh autograph please please please????????

        • HAHAHA I'm not the only one.

  • Big words Dana. How long as Aldo said he can't make 145?

    Kidney stones, the fact he's bigger then GSP and the same height as Daniel "I can't make LHW because of my kidneys" Cormier, and him openly asking to move up. But FORCED to stay at FW.

    Dana tells EVERYBODY to cut down. Now somebody dies in Brazil and he's coming up with his fall back statements. Remember when Frankie was winning? Dana STILL told him to move down.

    UFC needs to do double weight-in's. One an hour before fight and cap the difference. Guys will need to stay in shape instead of just crashing dieting on the last 2 weeks.

    • Dana will never push for double weigh-ins and weighing in 1 hour before that fight, that would risk a fight being cancelled the last minute after tickets have been bought, and fans are sitting in the arena could you imagine the disaster if a title fight was cancelled 1 hour before it was supposed to take place

  • When a Pro Fighter applies for a license to fight he/she should state the weight division he/she ill be fighting in. It is their Job as a Pro Fighter to be at or near the weight division they are licensed for.

  • Dana doesnt give a sh it. Hes simply defending the UFC and his money pit.