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Midnight Mania! Frankie Saenz felt pressured against overweight Jonathan Martinez in ‘fight or be cut’ situation

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UFC Fight Night: Saenz v Martinez Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

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Weight cutting remains one of the most controversial aspects of mixed martial arts. In general, most every athlete competing is playing a game of risk vs. reward on the scale, trying to maximize their size and strength advantages without sacrificing cardio and quickness.

There’s also evidence that extreme weight cutting can lead to worsened head trauma.

Difficult weight cuts have been particularly prevalent in recent months due to COVID-19. Athletes are dealing with different schedules, potential gym closings, and short-notice bookings — a recipe for problems. Last Friday, three fights were cancelled on weigh-in day alone!

However, one fighter did miss weight and still fight. Jonathan Martinez missed weight by a whopping 5.5 pounds, weighing in at 140.5 lbs. for a Bantamweight fight. He then proceeded to absolutely smash Frankie Saenz, dropping the wrestler several times en route to a brutal finish (watch it).

Now, Saenz is speaking out. He wrote a Facebook post explaining that he felt pressured to compete, as his job was at risk.

There you have it, UFC Fight #10 and #20 in my professional career. I want to thank everyone for your support. I have...

Posted by Frankie Saenz on Sunday, August 2, 2020

“Last night wasn’t my night and it’s something that doesn’t sit well with me.” Saenz wrote. “I felt great going in and if you know me, you know I take losses hard but I don’t talk much about it. This time, I feel I need to speak my mind. There’s something to be said when your opponent doesn’t respect the game enough to put in the work upfront and you’re told to take the fight anyway. It put me in a tough position: fight or be cut. I’m not ok with that.”

The 39-year-old veteran has now lost two straight fights. Even if we mark his latest loss with an asterisk due to his opponent’s botched weight cut, that does little to eliminate the physical toll of a bad beating from a heavier foe. Worse still, Saenz’s job security will again be at risk in his next bout, seeing as he’s now lost consecutive fights.

It’s a crappy situation, and weight cutting as a whole remains an issue without a clear solution. In all likelihood, we can expect similar stories and problems as fights continue to be booked under strange circumstances.


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Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.

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