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Midnight Mania! William Knight blames gargantuan scale fail on short-notice booking, ‘I tried my best’

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UFC 271 Weigh-in Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

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The UFC 271 weigh-ins did not go according to plan for William Knight. Expected to weigh in at 205 pounds vs. Maxim Grisham, Knight tipped the scale at 218 lbs., a full 12 pounds above the highest possible mark. As a result, he’ll cough up 40% of his fight purse, and the fight was shifted up to Heavyweight.

With the possible exception of Paulo Costa — who negotiated a last-second official weight class move, and therefore sort of didn’t actually miss weight? — this is the worst miss in recent memory. Knight went on Instagram to explain himself, blaming the scale fail on the short-notice nature of the booking.

“I tried my best on short notice definitely not the kinda fighter I am and it definitely won’t happen again,” Knight wrote in the caption. “Crazy I turn into the bad guy trying to save a fight on short notice..... I’m happy the real snakes have shed their skin today I’ll remember this moving forward for sure.... God has blessed me with this as a lesson and I’ll definitely make sure I do better next time.... fight is still on tomorrow at 8pm its now a heavyweight fight.”

For a bit of context, Grisham was supposed to fight Ed Herman at UFC 271, but Herman withdrew due to injury. Knight was announced as the replacement on January 28, so “Knightmare” seemingly had about two weeks to train and shed the pounds ... which isn’t all that much.

It’s an unfortunate situation. Knight definitely shouldn’t have accepted the bout if he knew he was so far off his fight weight, but an easy solution would be a catchweight bout. Sadly, UFC and Dana White are loathe to book catchweight matches, even in cases such as this where the circumstances are less than ideal.

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CHAMPIONSHIP TRILOGY! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to The O2 in London England, on Sat., March 18, 2023, with newly-minted Welterweight kingpin, Leon Edwards, running it back with former 170-pound champion, Kamaru Usman, for a third (and likely final) time. In UFC 286’s pay-per-view (PPV) co-main event, all-action Lightweight knockout artists, Justin Gaethje and Rafael Fiziev, will lock horns with the winner inching closer to a future Lightweight title shot.

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