‘Russian Ronda Rousey’: UFC rehydration protocol forced weight miss

'Russian Ronda Rousey' Irina Alekseeva says the UFC's rehydration protocols caused her to miss weight.

By: Milan Ordoñez | 4 weeks ago
‘Russian Ronda Rousey’: UFC rehydration protocol forced weight miss
'Russian Ronda' Irina Alekseeva explains here UFC Vegas 72 weight miss. IMAGO | ZUMA

“Russian Ronda Rousey” Irina Alekseeva missed weight for her Octagon debut at UFC Vegas 72 on Saturday. The 32-year-old came in four pounds over the limit for her scheduled women’s bantamweight bout against Stephanie Egger, forcing the match to be turned into a 140-pound catchweight. 

‘Russian Ronda Rousey’ blames allergies

During her post-fight scrum, Irina Alekseeva apologized for missing the mark in her first trip to the Octagon. According to her, she was left with no other choice but to take the penalty for missing weight and hope her opponent would still accept the fight. 

“If I were to make the (weight), most likely I’d be so depleted that there was zero chances that I would be able to fight, and I would have to cancel the fight, and in this way let down the UFC and my opponent,” she said through a translator. 

“It was more important for me to maybe come in a little overweight, but at the same time, make sure that the fight happens. Make sure that the fans get what they want.”

Without delving into specifics, ‘Russian Ronda’ revealed an allergic reaction she experienced from the UFC’s rehydration protocols. 

“Even after yesterday, after the weight cut was done after we weighed in, whatever the recovering things that UFC gave me, I had an allergic reaction to it. I was sick, I kept on throwing up, my face turned completely red. I didn’t know what was happening,” she explained. 

“I went back to the P.I., and in the P.I. they were monitoring me, making sure that I was fine. All the way through the late evening, I still wasn’t feeling well and nauseous. Whatever it was, I definitely was not feeling well.” 

Irina Alekseeva says she only started feeling better during the morning of the fight. 

“Only today earlier in the morning, I started feeling like myself again. That’s why I’m happy that the fight happened even though there was a weight miss.” 

The UFC’s rehydration mandates

Because of the potential dangers that weight-cutting entails, the UFC has amended its weigh-in and rehydration practices. In 2016, the company first implemented the early morning weigh-ins to give competitors more time to rehydrate before fight night. 

Per the International MMA Federation (IMMAF), the UFC P.I. recommends fighters consume three electrolyte shakes after stepping on the scale. Competitors are also made to consume solid food 30 to 45 minutes post-weigh in. 

Within the 60 to 90 minute period, fighters are then given “starchy solid carbohydrates” like a plain bagel and jam to further the refueling process. Fluid needs by the end of post-weigh in day are 9.9 liters while carb needs are 1,649 grams. 

‘Russian Ronda’ wins big in her UFC debut

Despite her mishap on the scales, Irina Alekseeva made a strong first impression in her UFC debut with a kneebar win over Egger in the second-round. This marks the fourth kneebar finish in women’s MMA in the UFC. With the win over Egger, Alekseeva improved to a record of 5-1. It’s unclear at this time whether her career will continue at bantamweight or if she’ll be forced to the featherweight division.

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About the author
Milan Ordoñez
Milan Ordoñez

Milan Ordoñez has been covering combat sports since 2012 and has been part of the Bloody Elbow staff since 2016. He’s also competed in amateur mixed martial arts and submission grappling tournaments.

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