NYSAC Director Explains UFC 223 Main Event
Only Khabib Nurmagomedov can technically win the UFC Lightweight Title at UFC 223, but UFC President Dana White has stated Iaquinta will be considered champion anyways if he can pull off the upset.
As reported by MMA Fighting, Iaquinta, originally booked against Paul Felder in a non-title match, weighed in at 155.2 pounds — perfect for a non-title bout, which has up to a one-pound allowance. However, with championship bouts, a participant must be on point with weight.
According to Kim Sumbler, the executive director of the New York State Athletic Commission, the time for Iaquinta to weigh in again had already run up, and Iaquinta was already rehydrating, so there was nothing that could be done. White, however, argued that Iaquinta’s underwear, which he wore on the scale, made up the .2 difference in weight requirement.
“The rules and regulations are written and we’re not allowed to weigh articles of clothing, we have to weigh the opponent himself,” Sumbler said. “Unfortunately, it’s not a simple matter where we can subtract an article of clothing from what he weighed in as, so his official weight was recorded at 155.2 and that’s what we have to stick with.”
Sumbler claims weighing the underwear was done on the UFC side of things, and that the commission could not look at the underwear weight and change their mind. When asked about White’s comments, Sumbler feels his words were taken out of context.
“If you listen to what he said, ‘if you beat Khabib, you’re the champ, you’re the man.’ I think rationally you can say that to anyone, and hey, if Al does beat Khabib he’s going to be looked at as the champ and that’s OK,” Sumbler said.
“That’s cool, but unfortunately, he’s not recorded officially as the 155-pound title holder, that’s the difference. And I think it was taken a little out of text that Dana was saying, ‘We don’t care what New York says.’ I don’t believe that’s what Dana intended.”
Original Story: MMA Fighting