Sometimes in the sport of mixed martial arts the toughest fights aren’t fought in the Octagon, but rather behind closed doors in the days leading up to the event as fighters do whatever it takes to make weight for the bout.
It’s a dangerous practice that pushes fighters to the limit, both mentally and physically, and in the most extreme instances it’s actually been known to cause death. For instance, back in December of 2015, ONE FC flyweight fighter Yang Jian Bing passed away at just 21 years of age after a horrendous weight cut led to him suffering a heart attack.
Thankfully, there’s never been a fatality in the UFC, but there have been many horror stories of weight cuts going horribly wrong over the years.
In this article, we’ll look at 10 of the most brutal weight cuts in the promotion’s history, including instances where stars have passed out, been rushed to hospital, and in some cases stared death in the face after dehydrating their bodies to extent that they had nothing left to give.
It’s fair to say that former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks has delivered a master’s class on bad weight cuts over the past few years.
On multiple occasions, ‘Bigg Rigg’ has shown up to the weigh-ins appearing to be walking a tightrope between life and death, to the extent that he’s actually been seen visibly shaking from head to toe on the scales.
Much of Hendricks’ issues lie with the fact that he balloons up in weight between fights and has been known to show up tipping the scales at as much as 218 pounds for the start of a training camp for a 170-pound bout.
Now in his 30s, brutal weight cuts like that have taken there toll on his body, and that led to disaster the day before weigh-ins for his fight with Tyron Woodley at UFC 192 in October of 2015.
Hendricks had been attempting to cut 26 pounds in 72 hours and it backfired so badly that he had to be rushed to hospital in severe pain, suffering from an intestinal blockage and kidney stones. Needless to say the fight was cancelled.
However, despite pressure from Dana White, ‘Bigg Rigg’ has continued to compete at 170 pounds since, though yet another failed attempt to make weight at UFC 200 could now force him to move up to middleweight.