Before I made it to the UFC middleweight division, and before I fought on “The Ultimate Fighter” as a welterweight, I fought at light heavyweight for the first 10 or 11 fights of my career.
In between fight camps, I usually get up to about 225 pounds, and even though I can make weight as fast as the UFC needs me to, eight weeks is ideal if I have that much weight to lose.
Back when I first started fighting, I used to do a soup diet leading up to fights. I would have my wife make me soup, and I would just do soup all week. Every week it would be a different soup, and as it got closer to weigh ins, I would eat brothier and brothier soups. It worked real well, but then I found the George Lockhart diet, and that is that’s the new go to.
I wish I had known about George and his nutrition program earlier. It probably would have made some of my weight cuts a bit easier. Like when I fought in Trinidad a while back.
I called the hotel ahead of time to make sure they had a sauna for the weight cut. I guess they got me because I forgot to ask if the sauna worked, so when I arrived, the sauna was just in pieces on the hotel floor; it hadn’t worked in years, so I had to run and sprint in the parking lot for hours. You’d think it would be hot in Trinidad, making the weight cut easier, but the temperature was just perfect.
That’s still the only time I’ve had to run to lose weight.
Making 185 has never been an issue for me, but when I competed on #TheUltimateFighter, I had 29 days to lose 40 pounds to make welterweight.
The weight cuts on TUF were some of the roughest of my career. Not only had I never competed at 170 pounds before, but I had to make the cut twice in a week. Fortunately, I discovered how to cut weight in the bathtub during the show.
It was the night before weigh ins on the show, and I still had to lose 11 more pounds. The UFC took me to a gym to use the sauna, but after I greased up and put my stuff on, I started blacking out in the sauna after like a minute. I wasn’t even sweating yet.
At the time, I had no idea what was happening, so I got out and put my feet in the pool, and really tried to calm myself down and slow my heart rate slowed down. I went back in the sauna, but I only made it about two minutes before I started blacking out again.
I had never missed weight and I wasn’t prepared to start then, so I went back to the house, and that was the first time I took a bath to lose weight -- I had heard about it but I’d never done it. I must have taken six or seven baths that night, and I made the weight.
Actually, I still had a pound to cut the next morning, but at least I wasn’t miserable. However, when I stepped on the scale, and I was still .3 over, so I had to go out in the parking lot of “The Ultimate Fighter” tryouts and run in a circle for 40 minutes to lose it.
Then, overnight, I put on about 36 pounds.
Six days later, I had to cut the weight again. I was just dead and miserable that second cut, but at least I had Pat Barry there to help me out.
Pat Barry is the most interesting man in the world, and he sat in the sauna with me and cut weight. Pat likes to talk, and while I like to talk too, I think Pat’s even better at it than I am. He just kind of talked at me until I made weight. It was fantastic.
I hope some day I get to cut weight with Pat Barry again because it was awesome. He just talked about everything, and just kept asking me questions about how and when I knew if my wife was really “the one.”
These days, I try to show up wherever I’m fighting at 200 pounds. Fifteen pounds in a week is never easy, but it’s very doable.
Read More of my Blogs:
- Why I’m Adopting a Child From Africa
- How to Improve Your MMA Cage Work
- What I Learned About Fighting From my Years as a Trumpet Player
Visit my "You Caring" page to learn more about my adoption journey.
This article appears as part of Champions #WeightCutWednesday series.