Reigning UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier has come under a lot of fire – both inside and outside of the MMA community – for holding on to a towel at the UFC 210 weigh-ins.
According to critics, this allowed him to “cut” the extra pounds necessary to make weight.
But in a recent interview with Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour, Cormier claimed he did it both out of modesty and unintentionally.
When I got off the scale the first time, I walked away, and they didn’t cover me. So obviously, a guy thinks that he’s losing everything that he’s worked for on the scale, and we just walk back off the scale and nobody even worried about protecting me. So I was like, you know what, I’m going to hold the towel a little bit myself to make sure that I’m covered.
“Now, the reality is, I didn’t even realize I was doing that until I saw pictures, honestly. I’ve got to be completely honest with you, I didn’t even realize I was doing that. I was tired. I was very discouraged and upset because of after that had just happened, so I didn’t even realize that I was doing it.
Daniel also claimed there were issues with the scale that not only affected him, but his opponent, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson:
Honestly, man, my team was standing with Anthony’s team in the back and they spoke to a couple of his coaches, and they said he been working out and not losing weight. They said that ‘Rumble’ had worked out for like an hour-and-a-half and lost .8 pounds, and they were thinking, ‘this dude ain’t going to make weight either.’ Then he goes in and he’s the exact amount of weight under as I was the second time I stepped on the scale.
So I don’t know what was happening with that scale, but yeah, they were concerned that he wasn’t going to [make it]. He said it himself. He’s like, ‘man, I was in the same situation as you,’ so obviously we both had some issues with our scales, or the commission had a scale issue. I don’t know.
So, it seems that an interesting mix of unintentionally holding the towel while intentionally holding the towel to cover himself up on a scale that was having problems was the reason Daniel Cormier held the towel during the weigh-ins at UFC 210.
You can watch Cormier’s video with the MMA Hour below: