If there’s anyone who knows a thing or two about extreme weight cutting, it’s former Invicta FC featherweight champ Cris Cyborg.
Cyborg made her UFC debut back in May of last year in which she signed on to fight Leslie Smith in her home town of Curitiba, Brazil. The Brazilian was forced to cut down from around 170 pounds to the contracted 140-pound catchweight agreement. She has publicly noted that the cut could have been detrimental to her health.
Once again, she signed on for a 140-pound catchweight bout to take on Lina Lansberg last September and won the bout via second round TKO. Cybrog once again struggled to make weight but was able to hit the mark before fight night.
The UFC recently opened up a 145-pound weight division, Cyborg’s former championship weight, which is currently run by champ Germaine de Randamie.
This past Tuesday (May 16, 2017) the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) met to see if a proposed 10-point weight cutting regulation plan would go into affect, and Cyborg was set to speak at the meeting. Unfortunately the Brazilian was unable to make it, however, she did write a letter that was read during the meeting, obtained by MMA Fighting:
“I am here today to show support for Andy Foster and the life saving changes the California Boxing Commission are putting into place today. As many of you know my biggest fight over the past few years hasn’t been in the ring or cage, but inside the bath, sauna, and on the treadmill.
“While some fighters have been cutting a lot of weight in an attempt to gain an advantage over the person they are fighting, my last 2 fights have been at 140 lbs for different reasons.
“Until recently the UFC has only had 2 weight classes for female athletes to compete in. 115 pound and 135lbs. While my natural class of 145lbs was not in the UFC, I was only given the opportunity to compete in the promotion if I was willing to sacrifice my body to make the lowest possible weight by using a method called “Weight Cutting” where I am severely dehydrating my body.
“For years I petitioned to have not only my weight class but others introduced that will allow fighters to safely make competition weight. Even Though boxing teaching us that their are women heavier than 135lbs, with Champions like Laila Ali, Lucia Riker [sic] I was told there weren’t girls at my weight to fight.
“It is amazing to see the California boxing commission support the fighters and help take the first step in protecting the fighters from themselves. With the decisions today, promoters are going to have to introduce additional weight classes. The further monitoring being done by the California Athletic Commission will go a long way to make sure fighters are no longer making un safe weight cuts that put their life in danger.
“July 29th I will be fighting at UFC 214 in Anaheim and I am excited to help showcase the new rules and the safety net it is forcing the promoters to create of the fighters. I am hoping to be able to compete within the guidelines laid out today, and am glad to see the UFC already announce the addition of a 125lbs weight class for women.
“It is my hope that the changes do not stop today. There are still many acts that need to be put in place to protect both the fighters and the sport but today is a great step in the right direction.”
The CSAC ended up passing the proposed regulation through, and you can read more on that here.