Weight Cutting In Combat Sports – A Necessity Or A Delusional Mania?

If you are a MMA and boxing fan, then you must not be a stranger to the term weight-cutting. Before the fight players lower down their body weights, which is calculated a day prior to big event. Weight cutting helps determine which division the fighter is suitable to compete in. But have you ever wondered what the benefits of weight cutting are? Here are some details about weight cutting that every combat sports’ lover should know.

What Is Weight Cutting?

Athletes in combat sports need to “make weight” so that they can fight in a particular category. Each division has a lower and upper weight limit, which should not be exceeded so that fighters in the same weight range can compete with each other. For this, a “weigh in” is conducted a day before the fight to see whether the athletes are suitable for fighting within a particular weight division. Cutting weight is common in combat sports such as taekwondo, judo, wrestling, boxing and MMA.

Why Do Fighters Cut Weight?

Fighters try level best to cut down as much weight as possible before a fight because it gives them an advantage of competing at a lower division with a bigger body. Simply put, by losing weight before the weigh ins helps ensure that the fighters fall within a lower category. After falling in a smaller weight division, the fighters put back the weight they lost to have maximum advantage over their opponent. Having the strength of a larger body while competing at smaller division is an integral element of these sports.

Weight Cutting And Its Different Aspects

A gruelling process, weight cutting is more hazardous than the fight itself. Though quite common in combat sports, weight cutting does not come without its risks. Since weight cutting in combat sports is about a lot of weight in a short period of time, the artists dehydrate their body severely to shed water weight.  This process if gone wrong can lead to serious health issues and sometimes even death. Last year, the death of Muay Thai player Jessica Lindsay raised serious concerns regarding weight cut’s serious implications and whether it should be encouraged in the sport or not.

Fighters Who Have Missed Weight

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Not all fighters cut weight. There are some who have missed weight and still made it to the top. In UFC Liverpool (May 27) Darren Till missed weight, pleasing his home fans with a win. Other players who did not have a weight cut in UFC fights are Mackenzie Dern, Josh Emmett, Rolando Dy, Frank Camacho, Jessica Rose Clark, Ryan Benoit, Joe Rigs Michael McBride and more.  

To read about UFC Liverpool Fight Night Darren Till vs. Stephan Thompson click here.

Cutting Weight Safely

Cutting weight safely is an art. Usually fighters dehydrate the body to extreme levels ensuring maximum weight loss in least amount of time. Sudden lack of water reserves in the body causes the body to malfunction which can be life-threatening too. In order to keep your body safe from undesirable effects it is best to opt for a gradual weight loss and suitable exercises. Decreased water intake, use of laxatives and diuretics, sitting in a sauna and performing moderate exercises wearing a sauna suit can also help in safe weight cutting.

To read about Diet plan of boxers who want to lose weight click here.

Cutting Weight With Sauna Suit

You can get an ideal weight cut by wearing a sauna suit. You can speed up the process by performing exercises in a sauna suit. Sauna suit helps in lowering scale by shedding water weight in the form of sweat.  However, while opting to choose this method, you should also adhere to your bodily requirements. If you think that you can’t take the heat anymore, immediately take off the suit.

Photo: RDX X5 Weight Loss Sauna Suit