A UFC fighter tripped and fell while trying to weigh in on Friday morning, which resulted in her fight being canceled.
Julija Stoliarenko, a bantamweight fighter for women, collapsed twice trying to gain weight for her scheduled UFC Fight Night bout with Julia Avila in Las Vegas on Saturday. The fight was canceled due to weight loss problems, UFC officials told ESPN.
On the scales, Stoliarenko gradually lost his balance. She tried to take a step back from the scales, but stumbled backward and collapsed against the backdrop of the UFC. UFC security helped Stoliarenko to a chair on the corner of the stage.
In one disturbing scene, Stoliarenko was allowed to step back on the scales to weigh for the Nevada State Athletic Commission. She successfully made 135.5 pounds. But when she tried to get off the scales a second time, she collapsed again when a member of the UFC security team caught her.
A doctor nearby came in to take care of her. Stoliarenko’s trainer Donatas Uktveris brought her water. Stoliarenko was taken out of the room on a stretcher. She was taken to a hospital, according to the UFC. A request from ESPN for comment from Stoliarenko’s team was not immediately responded to.
When asked why Stoliarenko is allowed to get back on the scales after the first fall, NSAC chief assistant Jeff Mullen, who led the weighing up, declined to comment.
In an Instagram video on Friday night, Stoliarenko said she actually had no problems losing weight. In fact, she said, the pounds were going off too quickly. Stoliarenko said she hit the bantam weight limit too early on Friday at 5 a.m. With the considerations starting at 9 a.m., she had to go four hours without food and water to gain weight for the fight.
“As everyone knows, when you save weight, you can’t be on that weight for too long because you’re already at the limit of your dehydration and so on,” said Stoliarenko. “That was a problem as to why it all happened.”
Stoliarenko said she understands why the commission and UFC canceled the fight, but she feels a lot better and could have competed on Saturday. Stoliarenko apologized to the UFC and Avila for the incident.
“I actually feel ready for a fight,” said Stoliarenko. “My body feels great. I’m still in good shape.”
Losing weight is a dangerous part of mixed martial arts. Fighters sometimes lose 20 to 30 pounds in the days and weeks that make up the tradeoff, and sweat out the remaining weight in a hot bath or sauna. Some state sports committees, including California’s, have enacted regulations to curb extreme weight loss and severe dehydration in martial arts.
Stoliarenko (9-4-2) had a five-fight winning streak in her previous fight, a unanimous loss to Yana Kunitskaya on her UFC debut. Born in Lithuania, she is the former Invicta FC women’s bantamweight champion. Stoliarenko, 27, is also a former master of Lethwei’s Burmese Martial Arts.