History hasn’t been kind to fighters who are dickheads at their weigh-in. From Barry Hall headbutting Sonny Bill Williams ahead of their fight earlier this week, to Conor McGregor yelling in Mayweather’s face during their 2017 weigh-in (and wearing a pin-striped f**k you suit in a previous encounter), it seems, based on these two examples at least, that getting aggressive at the weigh-in doesn’t bode well for your fighting chances.
You might also argue it’s the other way around – the insecure fighter, who is already most likely to lose, feels extra pressure to put up a big front and act super aggressive. In any case, in both of the above examples, the fighter who was a dickhead at the weigh-in ended up losing out on the canvas.
Williams knocked out Hall in the first round last night, and Mayweather bested McGregor, in the end rather comfortably, at their 2017 meeting.
Is this a consistent trend then, or just a coincidence? Let’s let the amateur psychology session continue and take a look at some other famous fights (in both boxing and MMA).
Weigh-Ins That Suggest History Isn’t Kind To Dickhead Behaviour
Mohammed Ali vs. Joe Frazier, 1971, Madison Garden
Though the legendary Ali would later go on to beat Frazier in their two following fights (Super Fight II in 1974 and Thrilla in Manila in 1975), during the weigh-in for their first fight in 1971 – The Fight – which is widely regarded as the biggest boxing match in history, Ali was actually the most vocal at the weigh-in.
They weighed in separately in order to avoid confrontation. Frazier was relatively subdued saying: “I’m pleased with my weight, I would have liked to come in a little lighter but… I feel strong… I’m all ready to go.”
Ali, on the other hand, called Frazier, “clumsy, ugly” and “flat-footed” and said “I’ll show you what a real champion is.” He then ended up losing. While Ali is a legend of the sport, not a dickhead, his (by comparison) aggressive behavior in this weight-in, and subsequent loss, perhaps supports our hypothesis.
Logan Paul vs. Floyd Mayweather, 2021, Miami Gardens
Before their exhibition match in 2021, Logan Paul’s brother Jake Paul stole Floyd Mayweather’s hat during the weigh-in. Though Logan says he told his brother not to, this is yet another example where the boxer on the receiving end of some aggressive behavior during the weigh-in (in this case Mayweather) ends up dominating the fight.
Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov, 2018, Nevada
The build-up to Conor vs Khabib was different to anything the UFC had ever seen before. It was truly nasty. Not only did McGregor throw trolleys at Khabib’s team bus (earlier in the year) but at the weigh-in Conor lashed out at Khabib and even threw a kick as he was being pulled away. After the fight, where Conor lost by submission, there was a brawl too.
Weigh-Ins That Show Dickheads Can Win, Too
Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen, UFC 148
As much as mouthy weigh in warriors have received their just desserts various times in history, they have also – in some cases – succeeded in psyching out their opponents (or simply beating them anyway). Anderson Silva is a good example of this. He beat Chael Sonnen in their first encounter at UFC 117, submitting him with a triangle choke towards the end after being dominated for most of the fight. In the lead up to their next fight (UFC 148), Sonnen majorly trash-talked Silva. In the weigh-in, Silva drove his shoulder into Sonnen’s mouth. Silva then followed this up with a TKO victory over Sonnen.
Nick Diaz vs. BJ Penn, UFC 137
Diaz was aggressive at the weigh-in of this fight, “jamming his forehead into Penn’s during their faceoff” (per Watch Mojo). Diaz then won the following brutal three-round fight by unanimous decision.
Conor McGregor vs. Jose Aldo, UFC 189
Conor trash talked and stole Aldo’s Featherweight Belt right off the table in the lead up to this fight. He seemed to have got under Aldo’s skin, because when they eventually fought, Aldo came out swinging and Conor knocked him out in record time.
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