CSAC Issues Warning About ‘Life Threatening’ Weight Cuts

weight cuts

For years now MMA fighters have played the game of cutting huge amounts of weight, in the hopes they’ll gain a size or strength advantage come fight night. The result is generally, for example, two natural light-heavyweights duking it out at middleweight, or one natural middleweight getting bullied by a much bigger fighter. This of course is not always the case as size isn’t everything, yet we still see fighters cutting drastic amounts of body mass to make weight.

Then there’s the other side of the coin, fighters missing weight. Botched weight cuts can often lead to sub-par performances, or even being dropped from a fight completely-as has become more common lately. Just yesterday TJ Waldburger got scratched from UFC Fight Night 61 for fainting and banging his head during the weight cut. Former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao suffered the same fate in the lead up to UFC 177.

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Fighters who squashed the scale recently include John Liniker, Kelvin Gastelum, Patrick Walsh, and it goes further back; Anthony Johnson used to cut in excess of 40 pounds to make welterweight, Johny Hendricks missed weight for his title fight at UFC 171. Outside of the UFC there have been numerous cases of fighters dying during savage weight cuts. So what’s to be done about this?

The CSAC (California State Athletic Commission) is unhappy about the current state of shedding large amounts of weight in such short periods of time, and released the following memo to MMAFighting.com:

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Improper Weight and Dehydration 02 17 15-2

It’s good to see that finally a Commission is picking up on this extremely dangerous practice. Wouldn’t it be better if everyone just fought in their natural divisions, or why not make the weigh-ins the same day as the fight to combat these brutal weight cuts? Is the advantage inside the octagon of combat worth all those risks the day before?

Apparently so, as weight cuts in MMA are often described as the hardest part of an professional training camp. What should be done? Policies should be put in place, and this memo from the CSAC may well be the first step towards that becoming a reality.

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