When lightweight contender Kevin Lee arrived in Atlantic City during UFC Fight Night 128 fight week, he didn’t realize that the weigh-in procedure was different than most other states he had competed in. If a fighter fails to make weight in most states, they’re given an hour extension to shed the excess mass.
Lee stepped on the scales and weighed 157 pounds, one pound over the allowed limit for a lightweight non-title bout. As a result, he had to forfeit 20-percent of his fight purse to his opponent, Edson Barboza. Several things led to Lee missing weight, but the New Jersey weigh-in policy played a considerable factor.
“The New Jersey Athletic Commission, for whatever reason, doesn’t allow that extra hour, which I wasn’t really clear on,” Lee said during an appearance on The MMA Hour. “The hotel that we were staying at, they wouldn’t even allow us to use the sauna until like 5:45, when they promised they would let us in at 5:00. It was a lot of minor s–t.”
“I think it was just, it could have been some adjustments that I could have made especially on the timing. I think I just didn’t have the timing down. The timing was off a little bit too much, and my scale was a little bit different too,” Lee explained.
“When I weighed myself on my scale upstairs, I was almost a pound and a half heavier than what I thought. It was just minor, technical difficulties really when it came down to it. My body never reached a point where it was breaking down. It just became that I ran out of time.”
Lee has had tough weight cuts in the past, but felt like he could have shed the extra pound if he were allotted enough time. He didn’t completely understand New Jersey’s weigh-in policy.
“I didn’t understand that,” he said. “When you go into these new commissions, you don’t really know the rules until you get there.
“The time factor could have been explained to me a little bit better.”
Lee logged a dominating performance, defeating Barboza by unanimous decision in a largely one-sided fight. With the win, he broke back into the top five rankings of the 155-pound division, despite his flub on the scale.