Stoliarenko collapses twice at weigh-in; bout off

MMA

A UFC fighter stumbled and fell attempting to weigh in Friday morning, prompting the cancellation of her bout.

Julija Stoliarenko, a women’s bantamweight fighter, collapsed twice attempting to make weight for her scheduled UFC Fight Night bout Saturday with Julia Avila in Las Vegas. The bout has been canceled due to weight-cutting issues, UFC officials told ESPN.

While on the scale, Stoliarenko started to lose her balance. She attempted to take a step back off the scale, but staggered backward and collapsed against the UFC backdrop. UFC security assisted Stoliarenko, brining her to a chair at the corner of the stage.

In an unsettling scene, Stoliarenko was allowed to get on the scale again to weigh-in for the Nevada State Athletic Commission. She successfully made 135.5 pounds. But when trying to get off the scale a second time, she collapsed again, with a member of the UFC security team catching her.

A nearby physician came in to tend to her. Stoliarenko’s coach, Donatas Uktveris, brought her water. Stoliarenko was taken from the room on a stretcher. She was transported to a local hospital, per the UFC. A request for comment from Stoliarenko’s team was not immediately returned to ESPN.

Weight-cutting is a dangerous part of mixed martial arts. Fighters sometimes lose 20 to 30 pounds in the days and weeks leading up to weigh-ins, sweating out the remaining weight in a hot bath or sauna. Some state athletic commissions, like California, have instituted regulations to curtail extreme weight-cutting and severe dehydration in combat sports.

Stoliarenko (9-4-2) had a five-fight winning streak snapped in her last bout, a unanimous decision loss to Yana Kunitskaya in her UFC debut. The Lithuania native is the former Invicta FC women’s bantamweight champion. Stoliarenko, 27, is also a former champion in the Burmese martial art of Lethwei.

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