UFC welterweight Jon Fitch will take on Thiago “Pitbull” Alves this Saturday night in a title eliminator bout. Earlier this week rumors surfaced that Alves was having difficulty cutting weight as he reportedly skipped out on the pre-fight media workouts in order to focus on dropping more pounds. Fitch caught up with MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani to give his take on Alves’ weight cutting trouble, which has been an issue for “Pitbull” before.
“It’s laughable,” Fitch said. “He’s still got plenty of time, so I’m not worried. With all that’s happened around this fight, I can’t get any more stressed out about it. It is what it is and I have faith that he’s gonna make weight…We knew this was always a possible situation. He’s had issues in the past with making weight and he’s had a long layoff. So [with] all those factors together we knew that there was a possibility that he would be over weight for this fight. Still, he’s got time to make the weight and I’m sure he’s gonna make the weight.”
Alves missed weight in a previous bout (at UFC 85) against former UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes; Alves weighed in at 174 pounds, possibly due to an ankle injury which prevented Alves from doing the cardio necessary to finish the weight cut. Fitch said that, if worse comes to worse, he will cut Alves some slack; as long as he does not show up as heavy as he did for his bout against Hughes.
“I’m not looking for a scenario like [he had with] Matt Hughes and [was over by] eight pounds,” said the American Kickboxing Academy product. “That’s pretty ridiculous. A pound is fairly forgivable, but if he can’t make the weight at the weigh-ins on Friday at four o’clock, I’d still like him to make the weight before the fight some time. So if he doesn’t make it at four on Friday, make it at seven or eight or nine or midnight, or whenever. Just make the weight.”
Fitch also told Helwani that he believes penalties for fighters who are unable to make weight should be steeper in order to force fighters to take the issue more seriously.
“If you have this many issues with not making weight they need to figure something out more than the twenty percent penalty ’cause it doesn’t seem like that’s motivation enough for people,” Fitch said. “It keeps happening. We’re a professional sport and part of the job is making weight.”
Alves weighed in at 171.5 at today’s weigh-ins, a half pound above the welterweight limit. No word yet on whether or not Fitch will let Alves slide or will ask that “Pitbull” further attempt to make the weight.