It took a lot for Sam Alvey to miss weight for the first time of his professional career.
The UFC middleweight, who meets newcomer Ramazan Emeev at UFC Fight Night 118 in Gdansk, Poland on Saturday afternoon, accepted the fight with 10 days of notice. Alvey was 227 pounds (41 pounds over the 186-pound limit) when he got the call and knew he had the toughest weight cut of his career ahead of him.
He made it to Gdansk at 210 pounds, and he started cutting water weight at 207 pounds. Alvey, who ultimately missed weight Friday by three pounds, said he did everything “humanly possible” to make weight.
Alvey, unlike some fighters, did not choose to stop cutting weight before it had a drastic affect on him because he knew he wouldn’t make the weight. He tried cutting until his body would not cut anymore weight, and eventually he ran out of time.
“I started cutting [Thursday] afternoon at about 2:30. I cut all throughout the night — all night long,” Alvey told BloodyElbow.com. “I took about an hour and a half and tried to sleep, but it didn’t happen. An hour and a half laying there. It didn’t start coming off. I got up, started cutting again at 4 a.m., and I did two hours of bath-tub work. I just stopped cutting. I stopped losing weight.”
Alvey said the weight cut was about as tough as he anticipated, and it’s an understatement to say “Smile’n” was upset about not making the divisional limit. Alvey, as usual, had to give up 20 percent of his purse to his opponent.
“I felt like garbage the entire time, and that’s about what I anticipated,” he said. “It’s the biggest regret of my career right now, because I have over 50 fights, and I’ve never missed weight (until now). And shoot, I fought at 170 twice. At the end of the day, my body gave up.”
To clarify, Alvey doesn’t regret accepting the short-notice bout entirely, but he wishes he had tried different cutting techniques in hopes they would be more efficient and lead to him stepping on the scale on weight.
“I don’t regret taking the fight, I don’t want to be back home,” he said. “I love fighting; I wasn’t going to get another fight this year unless someone else backed out. I don’t regret it. I would’ve tried to change something somewhere else along the line to make the weight. Or just give me a second crack at cutting it. It’s disrespectful to miss weight, and I didn’t mean in disrespect. It’s a big part of my job.
“You shouldn’t miss weight. You’ve got camps, you’ve got people who’ve made arrangements. You shouldn’t miss weight, and I did. And I’m embarrassed. I’ve never done it before, and it’ll never happen again. I’m gonna have to try to learn from it.”
When he first agreed to the fight, he said, Alvey asked for a catchweight of 190 pounds. But his opponent’s team turned that option down.
“When the fight was offered, I immediately asked for five pounds,” Alvey said. “I said, ‘Hey, any chance I can get it at 190?’ And the Russian, his team said no; they said they didn’t want to have any sort of catchweight. But you know what, it is what it is. I respect that. It’s their call. I know their fighter’s on the smaller size on the 185-pound scale, and I can understand them not wanting to give up an advantage like that.”
Alvey admitted that he would never again take on the same exact challenge of cutting more than 40 pounds in 10 days — especially when the fight is on a different continent from where he lives. Alvey added that had the fight been scheduled for the United States, he probably would have made weight, as he would have had much less travel time.
“If ever I have to make this kind of cut in this short of time again, I will probably say no to that,” he said. “God, it was such a hard 10 days.”
Alvey said to his knowledge, there was never a chance of his fight with Emeev being cancelled due to safety concerns.
“Not that I’m aware of,” he said. “The UFC, from the beginning, they said, ‘We want you to be safe. Anything you need, talk to us, be open with us, and then we’ll be open with you.’ So they’ve been in my corner the whole time. The fight not happening boat was never a possibility, unless I didn’t accept the fight to begin with.”
Alvey said he is surprised by the abundant support he has received on social media for almost making weight following an incredibly difficult cut. He expected many internet trolls to shame him for coming up short.
“I’m so surprised by that; the internet can be such a cruel place,” he said. “For the most part, they’ve been supporting me. They’ve been impressed with how close I came. I don’t want to be let off the hook that easily. I’m very thankful for my fans and the people who understand where I’m coming from.”
At 4 p.m. ET/10 p.m. local time Friday, Alvey said he felt “great,” was eating lots, and was ready to fight. He doesn’t think the weight-cut issues and dehydration will be a factor when he actually steps into the cage at UFC Fight Night 118.
“I think it’ll all be behind me,” he said. “I feel good right now. Ready for action.”
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