For as long as there have been weight classes in MMA, there has been weight cutting, with athletes attempting to drop as much water weight as possible for weigh-ins so that they are the bigger, stronger man or woman come fight night.
This year there have been a number of horror stories involving extreme weight cuts in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, such as middleweight Uriah Hall who suffered a seizure and a mild heart attack cutting weight, lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov who was rushed to hospital and even former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks whose kidneys failed on him as a result of a weight cut gone wrong.
Some fighters such as Mackenzie Dern and Darren Till have attempted to cut extreme amounts of weight this year, missed the mark by a large margin and actually ended up winning the fight with the only punishment being that they surrender a part of their fighter purse to their opponent.
UFC color commentator Joe Rogan discussed extreme weight cutting on a recent episode of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast and if he was in charge he’d be fixing this issue first as it’s sanctioned cheating (via MMAFighting.com).
“It is stupid. What it is is sanctioned cheating. It’s sanctioned cheating and it’s cheating at a much higher scale even than PEDs. If you get two people and they both weigh 135 [pounds] but they’re both totally hydrated and one of them has been doing steroids and one of them hasn’t been doing steroids, the difference will be far less than if one person weighs in at 135 [pounds] but then balloons up to 160 [pounds] and then gets into that octagon at 160 [pounds] but there’s no PEDs involved. That’s a much greater advantage than someone who’s doing some sort of testosterone thing or something. They’re compromised but the benefit of being so much larger might outweigh being compromised. Dude, if I was running s**t, I’d fix that first. That would be the first thing I would fix.”