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So why did Kevin Lee get 1 extra hour to make weight for UFC 216? An explanation


Since the UFC adopted early weigh-ins, fans have seen several fighters fail to make weight without a second chance.

There’s widespread perception the procedure is a one-shot deal: If you miss weight, you miss weight.

That wasn’t the case Friday, when UFC interim lightweight title challenger Kevin Lee stepped on the scale for the official UFC 216 weigh-ins, which took place at The Mirage in Las Vegas. It was 11:01 a.m. PT when he weighed in and he came in heavy at 156 pounds – or one pound over the limit for his lightweight title fight with Tony Ferguson. Lee then was allowed one additional hour to make the weight.

Was something off? The short answer is no.

First and foremost, the rules of the Nevada State Athletic Commission, which oversaw the proceeding, supersede any policies or procedures put in place by a promotion. While the commission generally tries to work with promoters to ensure a drama-free event, its policies are the ultimate authority on how the event is regulated.

The statute that references the NSAC’s one-hour window is NAC 467.522, which states:

“except as otherwise provided in subsection 3 of NAC 467.476 and subsection 2 of NAC 467.7956, if, during the 1 hour following the time of weighing in, an unarmed combatant is able to make the weight or weighs 1 pound or less outside the agreed limits, no forfeit may be imposed or fine assessed upon him or her.”

As NSAC Executive Director Bob Bennett told the assembled media after Lee’s initial miss, the second chance was approved after a check from the commission’s doctor to ensure the fighter wasn’t endangering himself by cutting additional weight.

Bennett said regardless of when a fighter weighs in, he or she gets one additional hour if they miss weight, provided an NSAC doctor signs off.

“The doctor finished evaluating Kevin Lee at 11:15, and he had to be back here no later than 12:15,” Bennett said. “There has been times where we didn’t allow a fighter to lose those pounds because he or she was too sucked out or too dry. This is nothing new for us.”

Even if Lee might have been a hair late according to the UFC’s timeline, Bennett said by his watch, he was on target.

“Most important is the doctor if somebody misses weight,” Bennett said. “They’ve got to see the doctor, and the doctor has to agree on it. And in this particular case, the doctor said, ‘I’m not going to allow him to use more than one pound.’ And I asked another doctor, and he agreed. This is not an anomaly. This is not unusual. This is in accordance with our code.”

Bennett also said if Lee were to rehydrate intravenously, he would be required to notify the commission, which would then sign off on whether the treatment was medically necessary.

The commission banned IV rehydration as part of an overhaul of its anti-doping policies in September 2016. The commission recently filed a complaint against a UFC fighter who allegedly received an IV without the commission’s approval.

For more on UFC 216, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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