What started as social media speculation has turned into an official pursuit of punishment of Kelvin Gastelum because of a weigh-in violation.
Gastelum stepped to the scale with just minutes to spare for his UFC 244 co-main event bout with Darren Till. That created speculation that he was having trouble making weight. But when Gastelum weighed in, the scale read 184 pounds, two full pounds below the limit for his middleweight non-title fight.
The bigger controversy started when people noted that Gastelum’s coach, Rafael Cordeiro, was right next to him as he weighed in and Gastelum appeared to have possibly made contact with Cordeiro. If that happened, it could possibly have had an effect on the reading on the scale, but at the minimum, it is a violation of the New York State Athletic Commission regulations regarding the weigh-in procedure.
The NYSAC policy is clear: “When on the scale, the combatant shall stand still with his or her feet flat upon the scale and shall not make physical contact with any person or object other than the scale. No other person shall touch the scale when a combatant is in the act of weighing in. While on the scale, the combatant shall follow any direction issued by the Commission.”
The commission reviewed various videos of Gastelum’s weigh-in, eventually determining that he made contact with Cordeiro. The NYSAC will pursue action against Gastelum, but did not divulge what penalty it might seek. The commission statement was clear that it would not seek to change the result of the weigh-in or alter the eligibility of Gastelum to fight on Saturday.
“The Commission has reviewed the footage of Mr. Gastelum’s weigh-in. The Commission has determined that Mr. Gastelum made contact with another person while on the scale, a violation of the weigh in policy,” read the statement.
“In light of this violation, the Commission will pursue disciplinary action. At this time, the official weight determination will not be disturbed, and Mr. Gastelum will not be disqualified from competing in UFC 244, as the possible contact indicated in the video cannot be said to have materially impacted Mr. Gastelum’s weight to the extent that he would have exceeded the applicable weight limit allowable for competition in the match.”
Though Gastelum has been found at fault, Cordeiro denies that was any ill intent with his presence near Gastelum at the UFC 244 weigh-in.
“People are tripping,” Cordeiro told MMAFighting. “I went there to check his weight. How am I going to lift him two pounds with my chest? They are crazy. They are tripping. It’s drama to sell the fight. There’s no way. There’s no way.
“There were two athletic commission officials there, I was in front of the whole world – that’s impossible. It doesn’t even cross my mind to try to break the law. The kid made weight, two pounds under. He did his job. He was the last one, he was sweating, running like a maniac, working hard, and got the job done. Everyone has a mouth and can say whatever they want.”
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