Weight cutting has been a hot topic in the world of MMA recently. It has troubled some of the biggest stars in the sport and the number of fights that have fallen out as a result of it is rising. The casualty toll is climbing.
One of the most vocal sufferers of the process is Cris Cyborg, her plight was dragged into the limelight by a video of her cut that went viral. It depicted the dominant female fighter reduced to tears by the brutal drop to 140 pounds. She has stated that she thought she might die in the bathtub.
Johny Hendricks and Kelvin Gastellum are serial offenders when it comes to missing weight. Anthony Pettis being unable to make 145 pounds led to an odd situation At UFC 206. Pettis would not win the interim featherweight belt if he was victorious but his opponent could.
In order to reach the limit of their division, fighters are dropping unfeasable amounts of weight. This often involves dangerous practices where people are dehydrating themselves almost to the point of hospitalisation. In some cases they have actully been taken to hospital. Joe Rogan, UFC commentary icon, has spoken out against the unsafe practice beliving weight classes should be abolished.
One fighter that has had his fair share of trouble with cutting weight is former lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos. The day before his title defence against Eddie Alvarez, he collapsed and was unresponsive for ten minutes. This information comes per Joe Rogan on his podcast. Rafael still made it to the scale and made weight but was stopped to lose the belt that following night.
Unwilling to put his body through the strain of cutting to 155, dos Anjos is moving to welterweight. As dos Anjos has said himself, this will allow him to compete to the best of his abilities. We have seen evidence of this in ‘Cowboy’ Donald Cerrone. He too used to make a tough cut to lightweight but elected to move up to 170 pounds. Fighting at his natural weight is undoubtedly effecting his performances for the better. He has been on a tear at welterweight and it’s thrilling to watch.
Some fighters choose to cut a lot of weight as it makes them bigger and stronger for their division. However, it is clear to see that it can drain them and damage their performance in the octagon.