#weight cutting has been a staple in #Mixed Martial Arts since the conception of the sport. In fact, most combat sports include weight cutting on some level. However, recently MMA has had an increase in fight cancellations due to complications from weight #Cuts. Most recently a title fight involving the Women's Bantamweight Champion of the UFC, Amanda Nunes, was canceled due to Nunes being ill. Her illness was rumored to be due to complications resulting from a severe weight cut although no confirmation of that fact has been provided. Valentina Shevchenko, who was supposed to fight Nunes, spoke to nesn.com and said she "was there and ready to fight" and was angry that Nunes pulled out at the last minute.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Her illness was rumored to be due to complications resulting from a severe weight cut although no confirmation of that fact has been provided. Valentina Shevchenko, who was supposed to fight Nunes, spoke to nesn.com and said she "was there and ready to fight" and was angry that Nunes pulled out at the last minute.

Fighters hope to gain a greater advantage by being a big fish in a small pond

Weight cuts have been causing a level of controversy for several years now in mixed martial arts, as well as other combat sports such as wrestling and boxing. Fighters will often drop anywhere from 20-30 pounds, or sometimes more, in an effort to fit into a lower weight class. The theory behind such drastic weight cuts is that in dropping into a smaller weight class fighters will be bigger and more powerful - in essence, a big fish in a small pond.

Advertisements

Fighters and their teams count on the fighter being able to gain weight back in between the weigh-ins and the actual fight and thereby be strong and healthy again when it's time to step into the cage. More and more, however, the health problems that are a result of such drastic weight cuts are being seen in MMA fights around the globe. The UFC alone has experienced several big fights as of late that have been canceled due to fighters whose bodies have been in such distress from their weight cut that they have been hospitalized.

Nunes is the first in a long line that has included Khabib Nurmagamedov, Kevin Gastelum, and Johnny Hendricks, just to name a few that have been unable to make weight safely and have had major fights canceled or prize money docked.

However, there is another theory out there that is becoming more and more prevalent. The theory is that if a fighter goes up a weight class, they are stronger, healthier, and fight better than they would at a lower weight class. Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone is one of the UFC’s biggest names to prescribe to this theory and to win with it.

Advertisements

Cowboy Cerrone is a fan favorite as he is always willing to fight and has a solid set of skills either standing or on the ground.

Cerrone previously fought in the 155-pound weight class but recently moved to the 170-pound class where he looks healthy, strong, and ominous in his power and skill. Corrine spoke about his decision to move up a weight class on "The Joe Rogan Podcast," telling Rogan the decision to not cut weight was one of the "best things" he could have done. Other fighters, such as Rafael dos Anos, have also moved up a weight class and taken on the idea that not cutting the weight makes them stronger, healthier, and better.

MMA is already on the move to curtail drastic weight cuts and promote fighter well-being.

The controversy over drastic weight cuts has prompted mixed martial arts, and USADA, to take action to try to prevent fighters from attempting to lose such vast amounts of weight in short amounts of time. No longer can fighters utilize IVs to rehydrate after weigh-ins and fighters must pass health checks after weigh-ins as well to ensure they are healthy enough to fight. In addition, there has been talk about moving the official weigh-in closer to the fight so that there is less time to gain back the weight and mass, thereby forcing fighters to not drop so much weight.

The attempts to curtail big weight cuts are to the benefit of both the fighter and the organization. Fights can’t happen unless there are healthy fighters and by encouraging healthy weight cuts, organizations can take care of their fighters and themselves to ensure a future for everyone involved.