We knew cutting weight on Fight Island might be a challenge, but it seemed to be going well for the most part during the official weigh-ins this morning. And then the last fighter got on the scale, Vanessa Melo, ahead of her bantamweight bout with Karol Rosa on the undercard.
You could tell when she was on the scale she didn’t feel too comfortable, and it almost looked like a cringe was peeking out from under her Covid-protective mask. But while on the scale, but Melo was announced at 141 lbs., five pounds over the limit of 126 for bantamweight.
The heavy weigh in means Rosa will receive a whopping 30% of Melo’s purse.
Raulian Paiva was fined 20% and Vanessa Melo will lose 30% of her purse for missing weight for UFC 251, I'm told.— Guilherme Cruz (@guicruzzz) July 10, 2020
Moving fighters from Las Vegas to Abu Dhabi a week ahead of time, then forcing them to quarantine in their rooms upon arrival, was of course going to have consequences for weight cuts. But missing by more than two kilograms is still a bit much. And expensive.
It’s not Melo’s first crime against the scale: She missed by four pounds against Irene Aldana in September of last year, and was thought to have missed against Tracy Cortez in November, but that was quickly overturned by Brazilian authorities for having a bad scale. She’s also 0-2 in the promotion with two unanimous decisions against her. She’s now listed as a +195 underdog to Rosa at -250.
Also Raulian Paiva came in at 129 lbs. for his flyweight bout with Zhalgas Zhumagulov, three pounds over the 126 limit for flyweight. That’s a big miss too, and will send 20% of his purse for their undercard fight to Zhumagulov. Paiva remains a -180 favorite over his Russian opponent, who is the underdog at +142.