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Should the UFC Pay Fighters Who Fail to Make Weight?

Should the UFC Pay Fighters Who Fail to Make Weight?

Charles Oliveira never made it to the cage for Friday’s UFC Fight Night 50, the latest victim of a weight cut gone awry, and yet another name in the list of fighters who’ve failed to live up to the section of the bout agreement they signed that outlines pretty clearly their maximum poundage when they set foot on the athletic commission’s scale. His most recent cohorts in shame – Renan Barao and Henry Cejudo – both share blame for savaging UFC 177’s card, and like with them, Oliveira is set to get zero in terms of compensation.

Obviously, Oliveira doesn’t deserve even his “show” money (the portion of the fight purse a fighter gets for showing up and making weight), but is getting nothing at all a little harsh? Consider this: the veteran of 11 UFC bouts went through an entire training camp in preparation for the bout, incurring all the usual costs such an endeavor requires.

As per MMAJunkie, Oliveira went through hell to make weight.

“I am very sad about everything that happened this week,” Oliveira told MMAjunkie on Saturday evening. “But I know that I’ll come back stronger. I felt ill and was unable to make the weight or fight. I started feeling sick in Brazil. As I’m the one who asked for this fight, I really tried my best but wasn’t able.”

…[B]ut the trouble was obvious at Thursday’s weigh-ins. Oliveira came in four pounds heavy and opted to surrender 20 percent of his purse as a fine.

But even as he rehydrated after the weigh-ins, things didn’t improve, and they worsened on fight day.

“I couldn’t even stand up,” he said. “My immunity dropped due to the cut. I’m not sure (exactly what it was). I just know I had a high fever, headaches and vomiting.”

Without question, the responsibility of making the contracted weight rests squarely on the shoulders of the fighters, and failure – especially when it impacts a card set for TV or pay-per-view – should carry with it serious repercussions. But as the infamous Gus Johnson quote goes, “Sometimes these things happen in MMA,” and maybe a veteran like Oliveira (or even Barao) doesn’t deserve the same treatment you’d give a TUF washout or green regional fighter.

Maybe they deserve at least something for their troubles.

What do you think?

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