7 UFC 298 fighters flagged for rehydration issue

Seven fighters on the UFC 298 card earlier this month gained 15% or more of their weight back from weigh-in day to fight day, meeting the threshold for being flagged as an issue by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), according to a document ESPN obtained Tuesday by the CSAC.

Because of the number of fighters who came in at that percentage or over, CSAC will discuss changes to its regulations regarding dehydration and rehydration at its next meeting Monday. CSAC, the most active commission in implementing rules to curtail extreme weight cutting, targeted 15% as the magic weight-regain number in 2019 when it put forth regulations.

The biggest offender at UFC 298, which took place Feb. 17 in Anaheim, California, was Geoff Neal, who gained 18% of his weight, going from 170.5 to 200.8 (30.3-pound difference). His opponent, Ian Garry, weighed 180.6 pounds on fight day after weighing 170.5 on weigh-in day, a gain of just 6%.

Both main event fighters, Alexander Volkanovski and Ilia Topuria, were at 15% or more, as well.

Topuria beat Volkanovski via second-round knockout to win the UFC featherweight title. On fight day, Topuria weighed 167.2 pounds and Volkanovski was 166.2. Topuria was 16% over his weigh-in weight and Volkanovski was 15% over. Both weighed 144.5 pounds at weigh-ins.

Paulo Costa, who fought Robert Whittaker in the middleweight co-main event, weighed 215.2 pounds on that day (16% increase) and Whittaker was 207.6 pounds (12%). Carlos Vera, Merab Dvalishvili and Danny Barlow were the other fighters at 15% or more.

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