UFC News: Famed Nutritionist Mike Dolce Explains Why Fighters Continue to Miss Weight

By Miguel Torres, Posted: 01/08/17 10:12PM EST

There is a saying in combat sports that the scale is the first fight a fighter needs to face, even before he or she steps inside the boxing ring or MMA cage.

It is a fact that former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendrick has had trouble with through the course of his career. For his UFC 207 welterweight fight against Neil Magny, "Bigg Rigg" stepped onto the scales at 173.5 pounds, going way beyond the 171-pound limit allotted by the athletic commissions. The fight did go on as scheduled, but Hendricks needed to give out 20 percent of his fight purse to Magny, as a consequence for his failure to make weight.

This is not the first time that Hendricks failed to make weight. The same thing happened during his UFC 200 fight against Kelvin Gastelum, a fight which he ended up losing via unanimous decision.

A good number of fighters, like Hendricks, have experienced immense trouble making their designated weight for fights, and such incidents are brought about by different factors. But for renowned nutritionist Mike Dolce, it is the coaches who should take responsibility, especially if their fighter fails to make weight.

"It's lack of credible coaching, lack of credible oversight. They're not working with teams that are not truly skilled in proper nutrition, medical nutrition, therapy and weight management," Dolce told MMAFighting.com. "We know exactly what time we have to weigh in. We know that months in advance."

In June 2016 ahead of UFC 199, the UFC implemented the concept of early-morning weigh-ins for the first time. Instead of having to tip the scales in the afternoon before fight night, fighters now weigh-in first thing in the morning, which gives them more time to rehydrate.

While such methods were warmly welcomed by many, some still criticized it for possibly giving fighters "more incentive" to cut more weight. Dolce, however, disagrees.

"Having a greater amount of time to rehydrate is not going to let them cut more weight, it's simply going to allow them to be healthy when they step into the Octagon," Dolce said, who has worked with big-name fighters such as Chael Sonnen and Ronda Rousey. 

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