Cutting weight is a fact of life for fighters when they are heading into a bout. It’s not even something that many will give a second thought. It’s just a function of being a professional fighter. In order to ensure that they have the best competitive advantage in their weight division, more and more fighters are shedding more pounds than ever.

It’s not too often that the reverse happens, where a fighter needs to gain weight in order to meet their weight requirements. However, that is the very real scenario that Ben Wall was faced with when he took a last-minute fight on the UFC Fight Night 33 card against Alex Garcia in his hometown of Brisbane, Australia.

“I was just starting to begin a cut down to featherweight when I got the call about taking the fight,” Wall revealed in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “I was walking around at just under the welterweight limit. So I had to start putting on weight so that I could compete at welterweight. I will be giving up a little bit of size because I’m usually quite big for a lightweight, but either way I am ready.

“I’d been told that if they needed someone to fill in for a fight or something that I’d probably get the chance to fight, so I always wanted to stay ready. I just didn’t think it’d be at welterweight. It doesn’t matter to me, though. I am just focusing on winning this one and then going from there.

Wall was out of Australia training with Macaco Gold Team when he received the call. He had to make a whirlwind trip back to Brisbane in order to get the fight-week formalities out of the way. With everything going on, from medicals to media obligations, there has been little room in his mind to focus on the fight itself.

“I haven’t really had much time to think about the fight or a specific game plan,” he revealed. “It’s not like a usual camp or anything, and it’s lucky that I had been training before the fight and not sitting around just eating donuts [laughs]. It is only just starting to sink in now really.

“I didn’t think it would happen this quickly and I thought I was going to have to win a couple more fights before I got into the UFC. I always knew it was going to happen eventually if I kept winning, and now I get my chance.”

There is no better way for a fighter to make a debut in the UFC than in their hometown. For Wall, things couldn’t have worked out in a more perfect way. He has the chance to be featured on a UFC card after being omitted from the finale of his season of The Ultimate Fighter. It gives the Brisbane native a chance to show what could have been if he had of been afforded the opportunity a little under 12 months ago.

“I love fighting in Brisbane because I get to do my own thing before the fight. I hate traveling to fight, so this is definitely a good situation to be in,” he said. “It’s going to be good because I am the only fighter on the card that is from Brisbane, so this is a hometown fight for me. I know there are going to be a lot of people in the crowd that know who I am, and I’m looking forward to putting on a great fight for the fans.”

Although it may have been more ideal for Wall to compete in his natural weight class for his UFC debut, the opportunity at welterweight is still Wall’s biggest to date in his undefeated professional career. On the brighter side, he will not have to worry about going through the motions and pressures of an intense weight cut as he finally fulfills his dream of fighting for the UFC.

Ben would like to thank Booster Fight Gear, Morgan and Wacker Harley Davidson, Macaco Gold Team, Fighter Watch, St. Michaels Emergency Rooms, Training Mask, MMA University, Wade Hampel at Big Fight Management and Gamebred Combat Club. Follow Wall on Twitter: @BenWallMMA

Photo: Ben Wall (left) controls his opponent (Facebook.com/ManimalMMA)

About The Author

Staff Writer, Australia

Located in Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Neil Rooke has been writing about the sport of MMA since 2011. In the past, Neil has written for Cage Junkies and has written for Fight! Magazine as well as Fist! Fight Magazine. Neil is also a regular contributor to Fight! Magazine Australia and Yahoo! Sports Singapore.