The main event of tomorrow’s UFC 210 card in Buffalo is a light heavyweight title fight match between Daniel Cormier and Anthony “Rumble” Johnson. Cormier won the first fight, but the rematch almost didn’t happen after Cormier initially missed weight this morning.
With the 11 a.m. deadline approaching, neither Cormier nor Johnson had stepped on the scale. Cormier went first and came in at 206.2 pounds, a full 1.2 pounds over the light heavyweight limit. He was butt-naked when he weighed in, so it’s not like he could have taken off more clothes and tried again. However, Cormier disappeared for a few minutes and came back for a second go. He appeared to have gripped the towel in front of him, shifting his weight slightly. It worked, and Cormier hit exactly 205 pounds on the digital scale. (Johnson weighed in at 203.8 without incident.)
The UFC typically does not allow fighters a second crack at making weight. Had Cormier been unable to magically shed 1.2 pounds in a matter of seconds, the UFC would have had a disaster on its hands, as the UFC 210 card is already a weak one. Without the Cormier-Johnson title fight, it would have been a truly difficult PPV sell.
Ariel Helwani asked New York State Athletic Commission executive director Tony Giardina about the second weigh-in attempt. Giardina explained that fighters are allowed an extra two hours to make weight for championship fights only, which is an NYSAC rule that apparently was allowed to supersede UFC regulations.
Thanks to these bureaucratic shenanigans, the main event is still on, which the UFC must be eternally grateful for, seeing as how their last major fight card was derailed at the last second when Khabib Nurmagomedov was hospitalized as he frantically tried to cut weight.