Middleweight 197 pounds for fight with Belfort
The UFC 142 main event is a featherweight title fight, but stealing the show at the weigh-ins on Friday in Rio de Janeiro was former welterweight and new middleweight Anthony Johnson – who missed the middleweight limit by 11 pounds.
Johnson weighed in at 197 pounds for his co-main event fight against Vitor Belfort at the official weigh-in event at HSBC Arena in Rio, badly missing the 186-pound middleweight maximum. Prior to the weigh-ins, UFC president Dana White went on Fuel TV’s live weigh-ins show to break the news and express his disappointment in the fighter, who is moving up from 170 pounds for the first time.
“We want the fighters on or as close to weight as they can be, and Rumble Johnson is not on weight today,” White told UFC on Fuel TV host Jon Anik. “When I say he’s not on weight, he’s way off weight. We went back, we sat with Vitor Belfort, and told him the way this normally works is, Vitor can come in on weight. Vitor is at weight, and he would get 20 percent of Johnson’s purse. The stipulation is, Vitor does not want him to weigh more than 205 pounds by tomorrow at like 2 o’clock in the afternoon. So we’re going to have to see how this thing plays out. He’ll weigh in today, and then have to weigh in again tomorrow.”
Belfort’s request that Johnson not weigh more than 205 pounds by Saturday afternoon still gives Johnson plenty of time before the fight – in the 12 hour range – to put weight back on, and it is likely that he will come in significantly heavier than Belfort for the fight. Belfort, fighting in his native Brazil for the first time since 1998, weighed in at 186 pounds.
“This is just one of those things, again, as a fighter you are a professional,” White said. “You are contracted to come in at a certain weight. This is not the first time this has happened with Johnson. He moved up to 185 pounds so this wouldn’t happen to him at 170 pounds. And here we are in this same position again. Vitor was bummed out. Vitor feels the same way I do. Vitor Belfort has to cut this weight, too. Vitor Belfort is older than Rumble Johnson. He came in like a professional, on weight, and Anthony Johnson comes in as a total unprofessional, way overweight.”
In Johnson’s second UFC fight, at UFC 76 in September 2007, he came in at 177.5 pounds for a welterweight fight. He lost by submission to Rich Clementi, even at a catch weight. At UFC 104 just over a year later, he beat Yoshiyuki Yoshida by knockout – but again was way off weight and fought at a 176-pound catch weight.
It has been widely reported, including from Johnson himself, that he cuts as much as 55 pounds to make the 170 pounds in his former welterweight home. Moving to middleweight gave him an extra 15 pounds of leeway, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
The main event featherweight title fight between champion Jose Aldo and unbeaten challenger Chad Mendes found itself taking somewhat of a backseat in terms of buzz during and after the weigh-ins. But Aldo came in on weight at 145 pounds, and Mendes came in with a pound to spare at 144. Aldo is defending his title for the fifth time.
“This is my home country, and I’m going to do my best tomorrow night for everyone here,” Aldo said after weighing in.
Mendes talked past a chorus of boos as as the Brazilian faithful supported their 145-pound champion.
“This is a great opportunity for me to come in here and show the world who I am,” Mendes said. “I’m going to come in here and face a great champion in Jose Aldo and I’m excited to get in there and show the world what I’ve got.
The official weigh-in results are below:
José Aldo (145) vs. Chad Mendes (144)
Vitor Belfort (186) vs. Anthony Johnson (197)
Rousimar Palhares (186) vs. Mike Massenzio (184)
Erick Silva (169) vs. Carlo Prater (170)
Edson Barboza (154) vs. Terry Etim (155)
Thiago Tavares (155) vs. Sam Stout (155)
Gabriel Gonzaga (250) vs. Ednaldo Oliveira (229)
Yuri Alcantara (145) vs. Michihiro Omigawa (146)
Ricardo Funch (170) vs. Mike Pyle (171)
Felipe Arantes (145) vs. Antonio Carvalho (144)