The MMA world lost a potentially hard-hitting co-main event between Uriah Hall and Vitor Belfort at last night’s (Sun. January 14, 2017) UFC St. Louis when Hall was unable to weigh in and forced to withdraw from the bout following a scary scene where he reportedly fainted and had a seizure.
The tough last-minute withdrawal put the frightening weight-cutting practices of the sport into the crosshairs yet again, and many asked if the UFC needed to make more effort to curb such drastic cuts and the subsequent adverse effects they have on a growing number of high-profile bouts.
However, if we’re to believe UFC president Dana White, Hall’s situation wasn’t one of just the weight cut becoming a health issue. According to the UFC exec in a post-fight scrum via MMA Fighting, Hall wasn’t taking his training at the UFC Performance Insitute in Las Vegas seriously, and had even gone as far as going to Los Angeles to party a week before his fight with Belfort:
“I have a very long relationship with Uriah, I like him very much personally. But the guy’s at the UFC (Performance Institutute) said he doesn’t take it serious. He doesn’t take his training serious, he doesn’t do what anybody tells him. He does his own thing.
“A week before the fight, he went to L.A. and was hanging out in L.A. in clubs and stuff. So, not good. So I’m going to talk to him, he texted me tonight. He’ s back in his room, obviously he’s not good, and if you don’t cut weight the right way and you don’t do what you’re supposed to do, this is what happens.”
The discussion about weight cutting and the issues created by it will most likely continue to grow larger, but White insisted there are more healthy ways to cut weight.
For the fighters who are unable to do it the right way, he said, the best decision is to move up a weight class in hopes of recreating their careers as several fighters such as Rafael dos Anjos have in recent years:
“What I think they need to think about is fight at 205. Fight at 205 or show up and do what you’re supposed to do. There’s ways to cut weight properly and safely. You need to start doing that. That’s why we are encouraging everybody to come to the UFC Performance Institute. These guys down there, all the people that go there and do what they’re told to do and do it the right way, cut weight safely.
“The guys who don’t listen, this is what happens. And much like the Kelvin Gastelums and the Johny Hendricks and the other people out there – if you can’t make that weight, then fight at a higher weight division.”