UFC on FOX 28 fight scrapped over weight cutting concerns

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

As first reported by FloCombat, Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier at Saturday’s UFC on Fox 28 card in Orlando, Florida, has been scrapped over weight-cutting concerns. The news was confirmed by the UFC:

Saturday’s UFC Fight Night bout between Gilbert Burns and Olivier Aubin-Mercier has been removed from the card at Amway Center in Orlando. Upon his arrival, the UFC medical team determined that it would be unsafe for Burns to cut additional weight necessary to meet the 156-pound limit. The card will proceed as scheduled with twelve fights.

The UFC is beginning the take the culture of extreme weight-cutting seriously, and monitors fighter’s weights during fight week. Starting with UFC 200, fighters are expected to show up for fight week within 8% of the contracted weight. Most fighters at a Saturday event show up on Tuesday. A fighter a little over 8% to go may be monitored closely. A fighter a lot over 8% can expect to see the bout scrapped, which is presumably the case here.

Although more can be done, the UFC deserves praise for not waiting until a contacted fighter dies before taking steps to address the issue. However, Athletic Commissions are the central protection, as relatively few fighters are in the UFC, and because the UFC is not yet doing enough.

Andy Foster, executive director of the California State Athletic Commission, crafted a 10 Point Plan to fix the lethal problem. It works. The ABC medical committee supports it. The ABC has adopted it. The UFC supports it and will continue to adopt further parts of it. It is now incumbent on all the ACs across North America to implement the plan.