On Tuesday of this week, the California State Athletic Commission approved significant changes to the way it allows fighters to cut weight for their fights. The hope is that these changes will reduce the possibility of fighters badly hurting themselves by dehydrating themselves to make weight.
These changes will be implemented through a 10-point plan that was first suggested by CSAC boss Andy Foster back in March. These new changes are outlined in full in this document. As the document explains, “the plan includes a fight-day weight check, additional weight classes, and making repeat weight miss offenders go up in division. It was written in response to countless instances of extreme weight cutting affecting the health of fighters and loss of scheduled bouts.”
The full CSAC 10-point plan is as follows (via MMAJunkie.com)
- 1) Requesting MMA fighters to select the lowest weight class in which to compete, and asking questions about weight cutting and dehydration to take into consideration prior to approving fights. The listed division must be declared safe by a physician on a licensee’s paperwork.
- 2) A contestant who fails to make weight is fined 20 percent of his or her show money, with 10 percent going to the commission and 10 percent going to the opponent, in addition to a 20 fine of the contestant’s win bonus, with all of the money going to the opponent.
- 3) Four additional weight classes – 165, 175, 195 and 205 pounds – to give athletes more choice.
- 4) Policy changes to the way matches are approved with an emphasis on appropriate weight class.
- 5) Weight class restrictions for fighters who miss weight more than once. Those fighters may be required to compete in a higher weight class until a physician certifies it’s appropriate and the commission approves.
- 6) Continued early weigh-in procedure to allow fighters the maximum amount of time to rehydrate.
- 7) A second weight check on the day of the event to ensure fighters haven’t gained back more than 10 percent of their body weight. Fighters who gain excessive weight may be asked to move to a higher weight class.
- 8) Checks for dehydration by specific urine gravity and/or a physical by CSAC physicians.
- 9) A recommendation of a 30-day and 10-day weight check for “high level title fights,” similar to those done by the WBC in boxing matches.
- 10) Examination and education for matchmakers, promoters, trainers and athletes on offering, accepting and contracting bouts.
Though it was initially unknown how top promotions would react to Foster’s proposed plan, it has now been given the thumbs up by promotions like the UFC and Bellator.
These changes will be in effect when the UFC touches down in Anaheim this July 29 with UFC 214. What do you think of these new efforts from the CSAC?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/17/2017.