This afternoon, the Target Center in Minneapolis hosted the fighter weigh-ins for UFC on FX 5, which boasts an excellent heavyweight contest as a main event, as well as a title eliminator in the flyweight division.
Typically, this portion of fight preparation goes smoothly. The occasional dehydrated fighter shows up looking weakened, and fighters miss weight from time to time.
Today, something rare happened. Dennis "Superman" Hallman was a full seven pounds overweight and did not step onto the scale. Someone made the decision that a catchweight at 163 pounds, as Thiago Tavares made the announcement that he would not be fighting due to Hallman's failure to make weight.
According to MMAWeekly.com, Tavares chose to decline the bout, which is certainly in his best interest.
Hallman has a solid background in wrestling and was already expected to have a size advantage going into the bout. Additionally, he is a user of testosterone replacement therapy, which allows him to boost his testosterone levels beyond what his body naturally produces.
Why should Tavares risk the momentum that he has built for himself? Since 2009, the Brazilian has lost only one of his six UFC contests, which includes notable wins over Spencer Fisher and Sam Stout. There is a reason that divisions were instituted.
Weight classes ensure that fighters compete on an even playing field and that their skills will determine the winner. Hallman was actually closer to the 170-pound division than to his lightweight goal. He did not deserve the opportunity to compete.
In my opinion, the league need to make an example of Hallman. This is his second consecutive failure to make weight, he has a history of competing with banned substances and the TRT is still controversial on all levels. His ugly Speedos don't help his case, either.
I applaud Thiago Tavares for having the courage to decline this fight. He will likely be called a coward by some, but he undoubtedly made the correct decision.