Missing Cut, Jake O’Brien Has To Make A Decision

by Samantha L. Johnson – MMAWeekly.com

Former UFC heavyweight Jake O’Brien fought Gegard Mousasi at Dream 15 in what was supposed to be a light-heavy weight bout. However, due to the last minute notice of the fight, O’Brien was unable to drop the last few pounds needed to make the 205 mark.

“205 has always been a difficult cut for Jake,” his manager, Ken Pavia, told MMAWeekly.com. “He’s only made it for one fight in the UFC and he made a catch-weight in Finland. It’s a very difficult cut and takes a significant amount of preparation and he didn’t have preparation time, it was a short notice fight and he miscalculated.”

Though Mousasi still accepted the fight, O’Brien was penalized and there was a settlement negotiated with Dream to make up for the missed weight.

According to Pavia, there had been other fight offers on the table that were at heavyweight. For this reason, O’Brien was not a low as he would have been going over to Japan to finish his cut there.

“He was keeping his weight fairly low, but there were ongoing discussions about him fighting Bobby Lashley in Strikeforce,” explained Pavia. “It was offered, and then not offered, and Lashley had to approve it. We really believed that fight was going to happen. So, in anticipation, the fight being a significant pay day and great opportunity, he didn’t watch his weight.”

To O’Brien and his agent’s credit, they did forewarn Dream that, due to his anticipating a heavyweight fight, the cut to light heavyweight may be an issue.

“We were concerned when we took the fight. We calculated (the short notice) and kind of warned them,” said Pavia. “We told them it would be a tough cut and it might come close… then we didn’t quite make it.”

There are very few fighters who can balance between two weight classes and do so successfully. Having fought only once before at 205, the prospect of a heavyweight fight, and the inexperience of making the cut had O’Brien teetering well above what would have been an easy cut to 205. 

“He’s a huge 205’er and a young kid; he’s only 25,” said Pavia. “He just needs to determine whether he’s going to fight at heavyweight of light heavyweight.”



Samantha L. Johnson is a freelance writer originally from Southeast Idaho, currently living in Las Vegas, NV. Visit her www.sxjohnson.net for her ramblings of on living in the MMA Mecca.