The topic of extreme weight cutting has been one of the hottest topics in MMA, and UFC commentator Joe Rogan believes that it is essentially “sanctioned cheating,” and its effects are more beneficial to that of using PEDs.
“It is stupid,” Rogan said. “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 whose 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.”
With fighters like Uriah Hall having medical emergencies, Max Holloway being pulled prior to weigh-ins, and the death of ONE Championship fighter Yang Jian Bing in 2016, the issues and effects of weight cutting have become even more dire.
In 2017, the California State Athletic Commission adopted regulations geared towards ending weight-cutting in the sport, including a fight-day weigh-in, and any fighter who gained over 10% of their body weight would be recommended to move up in weight class. Only six fighters were beloe the 10% margin at last weekend’s UFC 227, and five of those fighters lost.
“People push it, they do push it,” Rogan said. “If you give them more time, they are gonna push it. If they know that they can rehydrate longer – which is the idea, that it’s safer because you can rehydrate from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. instead of from 4 p.m. on. I just think give them all the time they need. ONE FC has laid out the ground work. Look at what they did with their hydration tests and implement that.”
Initial Report: MMA Fighting