Daniel Cormier Reveals Why He Held Towel At Controversial UFC 210 Weigh-Ins

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UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier may have secured his second title defense with a second-round submission over Anthony Johnson in the main event of last Saturday’s (April 8, 2017) UFC 210 from the KeyBank Center in Buffalo, New York, but first, he had to deal with some controversy.

That controversy came at last Friday’s early weigh-ins, where Cormier missed the division’s 205-pound title fight limit on his first attempt by weighing in at 206.2 pounds. He then returned roughly two-and-a-half minutes later to weigh in at 205 pounds, but several onlookers accused him of cheating the system with an old wrestling trick and holding onto the towel that hid his naked body while weighing in.

However, the champ insists he didn’t even know he was doing that, telling Ariel Helwani on today’s episode of ‘The MMA Hour’ that he was simply exhausted from the “hardest weight cut of his career”:

“When I got off the scale the first time, I walked away, and they didn’t cover me,” Cormier said. “So obviously, a guy thinks that he’s losing everything that he’s worked for on the scale, and we just walk back off the scale and nobody even worried about protecting me. So I was like, you know what, I’m going to hold the towel a little bit myself to make sure that I’m covered.

“Now, the reality is, I didn’t even realize I was doing that until I saw pictures, honestly. I’ve got to be completely honest with you, I didn’t even realize I was doing that. I was tired. I was very discouraged and upset because of after that had just happened, so I didn’t even realize that I was doing it.”

Cormier went on to describe issues that not only he and his team but also Johnson’s team experienced with weight management before the pivotal championship bout. The champ revealed Johnson’s coach said their fighter had worked out extensively and hardly lost an weight according to the scale, yet he ultimately came in at an odd number of 203.8 pounds, 1.2 pounds under the title fight limit.

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What makes it significant is that Cormier was over by that exact amount, leading to speculation that the scale had some sort of issue involving the 1.2 pound amount. The champion made sure to let his fans (and his haters) know he wasn’t the only one with a close call at UFC 210:

“Honestly, man, my team was standing with Anthony’s team in the back and they spoke to a couple of his coaches, and they said he been working out and not losing weight,” Cormier said. “They said that ‘Rumble’ had worked out for like an hour-and-a-half and lost .8 pounds, and they were thinking, ‘this dude ain’t going to make weight either.’ Then he goes in and he’s the exact amount of weight under as I was the second time I stepped on the scale.

“So I don’t know what was happening with that scale, but yeah, they were concerned that he wasn’t going to (make it). He said it himself. He’s like, ‘man, I was in the same situation as you,’ so obviously we both had some issues with our scales, or the commission had a scale issue. I don’t know.”