Prior to the “UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes” weigh-ins, UFC president Dana White announced on FUEL TV that Anthony Johnson’s (Pictured) middleweight debut would be off to a rough start. Despite moving up to the 185 pound division to avoid the pitfalls he had experienced on the scales as a welterweight, the controversial wrestler still missed his mark by a wide margin on Friday.
“‘Rumble’ is not on-weight, and when I say he’s off-weight, he’s way off-weight,” an irked White said. “The way this normally works is, Vitor Belfort can come in on-weight, Vitor is at-weight, and he would get 20 percent of Johnson’s purse.
“The stipulation is, Vitor does not want him to weigh more than 205 pounds tomorrow by like 2 o’clock in the afternoon. So we’re going to have to see how this thing plays out.”
For a non-title middleweight affair, fighters are allowed to weigh a maximum of 186 pounds, which is exactly what Belfort checked in at. Johnson tipped the scales at an astonishing 197 pounds on Friday.
White did not mention what will happen if Johnson comes in Saturday heavier than 205 pounds. However, he did express great disgust in Johnson’s unsuitable behavior.
“As a fighter, you are a professional,” White flatly stated. “You are contracted to come in at a certain weight. This is not the first time that this has happened with Johnson. He moved up to 185 pounds so this wouldn’t happen to him at 170 pounds, and here we are in the same position again.
“Vitor was bummed out. Vitor feels the same way that I feel. Vitor Belfort has to cut this weight, too. Vitor is older than ‘Rumble’ Johnson is, he came in like a professional on-weight and Anthony Johnson comes in as a total unprofessional way overweight.”
Johnson weighed 177.5 pounds in his September 2007 contest against Rich Clementi and was 176 pounds for his October 2009 scrap with Yoshiyuki Yoshida. Both welterweight bouts were fought at catchweights based off Johnson’s respective weight.
Johnson and Belfort’s “middleweight” shootout co-headlines tomorrow’s pay-per-view broadcast inside HSBC Arena in Rio de Jenairo, Brazil.