By: Ulysses Gomez
London – Pre-Weight Cut
The weather in London has been terrible the whole time I’ve been here. I’ve almost been here a week and it started off with being cold and rainy, then it snowed one day, and it was cold and windy the next day. Today is probably the nicest day and just my luck I can’t leave the hotel. Well I can leave the hotel but Mike Dolce told me to let my body rest and just stay in my room. So for the most part my day will be spent in my hotel room.
Anyways I woke up this morning and checked my weight and I was 133.4lbs which is okay. I mean yesterday I was 133.8lbs when I woke up so I only dropped .4lbs and I’ve been dropping on average 1.2lbs a night. But yesterday was the day that I drank the most water. I had over 2 gallons of water yesterday and only trained once so that’s why I only dropped .4lbs. Today I’m not going to be drinking that much water, roughly about a little over a half gallon of water maybe a little bit more depending how my weight fluctuates throughout the day.
Well now the fun begins; it’s roughly about 8 p.m. All day I was just hanging out in my room listening to podcasts but me, Dave, and Gil did go to lunch at T.G.I.Fridays. We’ve ate there every day this trip and sometimes twice a day. If I don’t ever eat there again for the rest of my life I will not be disappointed. I’ve had three meals so far and almost 2 liters of water which is over a half gallon of water.
The whole liter thing confuses me but at least I know it’s over a half gallon, I had to Google that to find out. Anyways after having those meals and all that water I’m 136.6lbs so I put on almost 3lbs today which isn’t very much, sometimes I put on 4-6lbs of water weight throughout the day so 3 isn’t bad.
I’ve done it all to cut weight. In the beginning of my career I used to sit in the sauna while wearing a sauna suit, sweat pants and a hoodie and I hated every minute of it. I don’t know why I did that, well actually yeah I do. I didn’t know any better. I used to see that’s how other fighters cut weight so I assumed that was the best and only way so that’s what I did. The sauna got old quick and after about my sixth pro fight I changed it up and started to cut weight by working out.
The day before weigh ins and the day of weigh ins I would put a sauna suit on and a few layers of clothing on with some Sweet Sweat and workout on the elliptical. I did that a few times and I realized that it probably wasn’t the best way to make weight for a fight. I mean not only was I dehydrating myself but I was also wearing my body out right before I had to fight. Again I didn’t know any better and just took advice from other guys at the gym and what not.
Now everything is a lot different. I don’t use the sauna, heck I don’t even use sauna suits! No more working out to make weight, all my workouts are done. It’s all about getting the water out of my system the easiest way without taxing my body too much. The week of my fight I would train super hard, barely drink any water and I wouldn’t even think about eating carbs. After one of my weight cuts I had to get rushed to the hospital because I was severely dehydrated. I remember the doctor asking me to pee in a cup after giving me two bags of IVs and my pee coming out looking like Apple Juice.
I don’t know what was worse the color of my pee or the smell of it. Everything changed when I talked to Mike Dolce. He changed my mind/ways about cutting weight. The first time he told me how to cut weight I remember thinking “this dude is nuts! No way I’m going to make weight but if I miss weight I can always blame him.” Ha-ha, seriously that’s what went through my mind but he was right, I made weight no problem and felt great during the fight.
The Fight Before The Fight
So I’m 136.8lbs which means I have to drop 10.8 pounds by tomorrow at 4 p.m., well actually by 2 p.m. so Burt Watson doesn’t yell at me. Dolce wants me to get down to 131 tonight so that should be fairly easy. I figure it will be about two sessions in the bath tub. The bath tub is a lot easier than the sauna or working out the only thing that I don’t like about it is that sometimes the bath tubs are small in hotel rooms so it puts my back in a weird position but other than that it’s not all that bad.
One thing that does kind of suck is that today is Valentine’s Day. I always wanted to take a romantic bath on Valentine’s Day, I figured it would always be with my wife but I never imagined it would be me by myself with my teammate sitting on the toilet with a stop watch. Ha! Anyways after my first session in the bath I got down to 132.8lbs. I was pretty happy with dropping 4lbs in my first session.
After my first session I hung out in the room and let my body cool down until it was time for my second session. I started my second session at 132.8lbs and after I was done with that I got down to 130.8lbs. Not quite 4lbs like my first session but at least I’m under 131 like Dolce asked. I finished the night off by having 16 ounces of water and a small dinner. I ended up going to bed at 131.8lbs.
Hopefully I can go back to floating 1.2lbs over night. That would be awesome! That would get me down to 130.6lbs and I should be able to do 4.6 pounds fairly easy. I’m already planning on taking the pound allowance, ha-ha; forget trying to get down to 125. Even if I only float .4 overnight that will put me at 131.4 which means I will have to cut 5.4 the day of which is still good, anything over 7 pounds the day of is hard for me.
Well today is the day of weigh ins and it’s always the hurry up and wait game, or should I say hurry up and weight game. Zing! I woke up this morning at 130.2lbs so I floated 1.6 pounds overnight so I’m really happy about that. I only have to cut 4.2 pounds today which shouldn’t be that difficult for me. I figure it will probably be about two sessions in the bath, maybe three but each session will be shorter than the previous so it shouldn’t be too bad.
We have to be on weight and leave for the venue by 2 p.m. so I want to start my cut at 11 a.m. just so I have enough time to get all the weight off and take a shower before we leave for the venue. I jumped in the bath and after I was done with my firsts session I went from 130.2 to 128.4 so almost 3lbs, that’s really good for my first session. Now I’m only 2.4lbs away from being on weight. It’s time for session number two and after I was done with that I went from 128.4 to 127lbs. YES! Only 1 pound away from being on weight.
At this point I was tempted to stop cutting weight and just hope that I would float the pound by the time we weighed in. I thought about it for a few minutes but Dave convinced me otherwise. He told me that the cut hasn’t been difficult for me which is true. He also told me that if I’m over when I weigh in I will have to go and cut the weight while my opponent is re-hydrating, very valid point. On top of that he told me to quit being a pussy, ha-ha, well said.
I jumped in the bath for a few minutes. It must have been less than 10, just enough to make sure that I had a sweat on my brow. Once I felt my body was sweating I got out and laid on the floor and bundled myself up with towels and a blanket to keep the sweat going. I laid there for 10 minutes and after I was done I was 126.2lbs. Exactly where I wanted to be! I got up and took a quick shower and headed to the venue.
It’s Time… For Weigh-ins and Staredown!
We got the venue two hours early and had to fill out some paper work and get checked out by the doctors. I always find that kind of funny, they check you out to make sure you’re healthy enough to get beat up. Ha. Anyways the venue was super cold. I had my sweats on but I think the combination of having low body fat and being dehydrated made it feel extra cold! Regardless I knew that it would be over soon so I just hung out with Gil and Dave.
The good thing about the UFC is that you know you weigh in right at 4 p.m. so you don’t have to worry about it dragging out. At other shows they say the weigh ins start at 5 but they really don’t start until 6; that’s the not case with the UFC, 4 p.m. means 4 p.m. which is awesome in my book. So we just hung out until it was time to weigh in. They lined us up a few minutes before 4 p.m. and that was the first time I really got to see Phil Harris. Even though we were all staying at the same hotel we didn’t see each other much.
Since I was the first fight of the night the benefit of it is that you get to weigh in first. They called my name out and the crowd was pretty receptive, I mean I didn’t get booed so that’s a plus right? I jumped on the scale and saw that it read 126.2 than it dropped down to 126 on the dot. I was super happy about that, I really didn’t want to have to take off my underwear, especially considering how cold it was in there. Ha-ha.
Phil weighed in next and I don’t know exactly what he weighed I just know that it was 125 something so he made weight. Honestly I didn’t care if he made weight or not, he could have been 4lbs over and it wouldn’t have bothered me, I would have still fought him regardless.
Now it was time for the stare down, in my opinion this tells a lot about a fighter. When you do the stare down you have two choices and only two choices. Either look your opponent in the eyes or don’t, those are the only two options. You cannot look your opponent in the eyes then look away, that’s the worst thing you can do in my opinion! If you lock eyes you have to keep your eyes locked the whole time on your opponent until the commission or Dana tells you it’s time to go.
I always look my opponent in the eyes and I can for the most part tell what type of fighter they are and what type of fight I’m going to be in. I looked into Phil’s eyes and I could tell that he was game to fight. He looked me in my eyes and he didn’t break eye contact, he didn’t look for Dana or someone else to save him from the stare down.
Sometimes fighters will look at the commission to see if it’s time for stare down to stop, almost like they are uncomfortable and want the commission to save them. That wasn’t the case with Phil. I also noticed that he was taller and bigger than I expected. Regardless it didn’t matter; I made weight and got what I wanted from the stare down.
Food and Water!
After I made weight it was time to rehydrate, I used to pound Pedialyte and Gatorade but that all changed after talking to Dolce. Now I just sip on some water, I allow my body to tell me when to drink and eat. I don’t force myself to drink a gallon of water in 10 minutes; I just slowly sip on my water and pick at some fruit until I start to feel hungry again. I usually have my first solid meal about an hour and a half after I weigh in.
Again it’s not a huge meal just some carbs to get my appetite going and more water. I checked my weight before eating and I was already back up to 133.4. Before I would just eat whatever was in sight and as much as my stomach could handle but not anymore. Everything that I eat has a purpose and the same goes for the quantity of the meals. I finally had a regular sized meal at 9 p.m. It was some pasta with light sauce and a small chicken breast on the side.
By this time I had already finished my gallon of water and my pee is clear again which is really good. Finally at around 10:30 p.m. me and Gil did a quick light workout, nothing too hard just enough to get my body moving and to help push the food through my system. I checked my weight before going to bed and I was 139.6lbs, I feel good and if I had to fight tonight I could. My energy feels good and so does my body. I don’t feel bloated or anything like that which is a huge plus. I know I’ll sleep pretty good tonight.
In case you missed Part 1: Ulysses Gomez: My Journey to UFC on Fuel TV 7 in London and Beyond – Part 1