Anthony Johnson may have come up short against UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 210, but the issues between the two aren’t over yet.
Craig Zimmerman, Johnson’s lawyer, is filing a complaint with the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) over the issues surrounding Cormier’s weigh in for UFC 210.
“Anthony’s opponent came in overweight,” Zimmerman told MMA Fighting. “I don’t think anyone disputes that. He weighs in, he’s 206.2 roughly, and somehow a minute or two later, he goes backstage, he comes back out, they try it again, he leans on a towel and miraculously he makes weight. I’m a licensed promoter and attorney. I’m licensed in California. The weigh-in is one of the most sacred things in combative sports. Do both fighters meet the weight requirement? Particularly with a title fight, there’s not even a pound allowance. And if you miss weight, there’s a fine. I think we need three things. One, we need acknowledgment that the weigh-in was handled incorrectly. Two, we need DC to be fined the 20 percent he should’ve been fined for coming in overweight. And three, we need New York to clean up the weigh-in procedures so this doesn’t happen again.”
Cormier initially weighed in a little overweight for his bout against Johnson, but then disappeared backstage for a few moments, only to return and make weight after leaning on some towels. The so called 'towel trick' is when a fighter leans on a towel in a certain matter to offset his weight and to essentially trick the scales so the person can make weight.
Zimmerman firmly believes that a little common sense can go a long way for the NYSAC.
“Common sense applies,” Zimmerman said. “Even if he’s allowed to jump back on the scale, he jumped on a minute or two later, and somehow he miraculously loses 1.2 pounds? I’d like to know what he did. How many fights have you ever seen where a guy is leaning on the towel? This is a UFC title fight. It’s higher profile. There are a lot more people watching them than if this was just a regional show. If there are a lot more commissioners and people there to watch this; it’s not as if one person missed it. There are a lot of people who missed it. Someone should’ve stepped up. You just can’t turn your head. I’m not accusing the New York commission of anything, but isn’t it the job of any commission to ensure all the rules are being followed? And if someone misses it, they’re not supposed to be worried about, at least at the time, why it was missed. They need to correct the problem. No one said, ‘hey, ‘hey, ‘hey, he’s leaning on the towel. Hey, he came in overweight.’ No one cared, and I don’t understand how that happens,” Zimmerman continued. “If it happens out here in California, you know the commission would be all over it. If it happens in Nevada, they would’ve been all over it. Almost every state, but somehow New York just let this go.”
The weigh-in fiasco was just one of a few errors made by the NYSAC before and during the UFC 210 event, the commission handled the weekend so badly that even UFC President Dana White spoke out against them.