The UFC has been rocked after a fighter stumbled and fell while attempting to weigh-in, forcing the cancellation of her bout.
Lithuanian fighter Julija Stoliarenko, a women’s bantamweight contender, collapsed twice on the scales ahead of her scheduled UFC Fight Night bout with Julia Avila in Las Vegas. UFC officials told ESPN the match up has been abandoned due to weight-cutting issues.
Stoliarenko’s condition appeared fine on the way to the scales but once she jumped on, it was clear all was not well. The fighter placed her hands on her hips just before she started to lose her balance.
Stoliarenko tried to take a step back off the scale but staggered back and collapsed against the UFC promotional backdrop. Security and other officials rushed to the stage, eventually helping her to a chair at the corner of the stage.
In uncomfortable scenes, the fighter was given a chance to get on the scales again and successfully made weight at 135.5 pounds. Yet as she tried to get off the scale for the second time her body gave way causing her to fall back with a member of the UFC security team catching her.
A doctor on site came to her aid, with her coach handing her a bottle of water before she was taken from the room on a stretcher to hospital.
According to ESPN when Nevada State Athletic Commission chief assistant Jeff Mullen was asked why Stoliarenko was allowed to get back on the scale after the initial fall, he declined to comment.
The incident is another case that highlights the dangers of cutting weight within combat sports. Fighters are sometimes forced to lose over 10kg in the lead up to fights, confining them to saunas and hot baths in preparation.
The problem has caused such concern in California, with the some of the state’s athletic commissions enforcing rules to try and stop fighters from undertaking extreme measures to make weight.