PFL to deduct points if fighters miss weight:
Making weight in an MMA fight (just as in any other combat sport) is vital.
You go to the scale at the weigh-ins the day before the event and strip down to your underwear before stepping on and hope that you made the contracted weight successfully and safely.
Some fighters will oftentimes need to strip naked all for the purposes of making weight.
At times, if a fighter misses weight, it’s all up to his or her opponent to decide whether or not to move forward with the fight as a catchweight affair, with the offending fighter forfeiting part of his or her purse to the opposition as a penalty.
Other times, however, especially when a fighter misses weight badly, the promotion will cancel the fight, as it cannot practically continue out of safety concerns for the fighter who missed weight—with that fighter being hospitalized on occasion—most notably happening to Jozette Cotton, who saw her fight against Kayla Harrison being called off last December after weighing in at 180 lbs. for a Lightweight nontitle fight in TITAN FC 66.
In cases of a nontitle fight, a 1-lb. allowance above the maximum allowable weight is permitted before catchweight considerations come into play.
That day, Cotton missed weight by 24 lbs.
It’s especially vital in the Professional Fighters League, where points are at stake in each of the fighters’ two regular season bouts.
With the 2020 season being pushed back a year, the PFL has taken a different approach, unique to its season format.
Starting this year, a fighter who misses weight for a regular season fight will have points deducted from his or her total.
PFL officials announced this new rule on Thursday.
In the PFL’s previous two seasons, if a fighter missed weight at the pre-fight weigh-in, the offending fighter’s opponent would automatically receive the three points in the standings scored for a win by way of walkover and that fighter would not need to take the fight, but could still appear in the match if he or she so chose.
The offending fighter could not score points in the standings with a victory under the old rule if he or she missed weight.
Under this new PFL rule, the offending fighter is to be docked one point in the standings in the event that he or she misses weight at the weigh-in the day before the card.
That rule is set up to play a huge role in the regular season in regard to playoff seeding.
Suppose Fighter A wins his first regular season bout in the Heavyweight ranks via a first-round knockout, giving him six points in the standings (three points for the win, plus three bonus points for winning the fight by stoppage in round one) heading into the second fight of the regular season.
Fighter A then weighs in for the second fight, coming in 3 lbs. over the limit, losing a point and knocking him down to five points in the standings.
That one point may not seem like too much, but when you consider that it could be the difference between the No. 1 and No. 2 seed in the bracket, it’s quite the deal.
It’s especially critical this season as only the top four fighters in each weight class will advance to postseason, down from the top eight fighters in the standings, thus also bringing an end to the quarterfinal playoff fights, meaning a fighter will no longer have to fight twice in the same night.
With the addition of a one-point penalty for missing weight, the PFL is sounding the alarm on this issue and sending a message to its fighters:
“You better not miss because the consequences are going to be more severe than ever before.”
I’m all for fighter safety in all facets, including weight.
By having the one-point penalty for missing weight, it further brings home the point that a fighter will have to make weight safely in the run-up to the bout.
It may be an aggressive stance, but in the most recent PFL season, multiple fights were called off due to fighters missing weight—something which isn’t good for any MMA promotion.
This one-point penalty could help cut down on fights lost by bad weight cuts.