White: New Weight Classes Won’t Help

Weight cutting issues have been a far too common problem in the world of MMA. Many have debated over the benefits and hardships of weight cutting. While weight cutting can supposedly give a fighter size advantage, the process of cutting so much weight in a short amount of time may not be the healthiest choice.

UFC Women’s Featherweight Champion Cris Cyborg and her weight-cutting issues are well-documented, as it was her struggle to get a women’s featherweight division added to the UFC. But recently, before UFC 216 this month, Kevin Lee — who competed in the interim lightweight title main event — had to cut 20 pounds in 24 hours to make weight for the title fight, and he missed weight the first time. Sam Alvey needed to cut 35 pounds after taking a fight on 10 days notice for this weekend’s event in Poland; he ended up missing weight by four pounds.

With a lot of negative press and bad mojo regarding weight cutting, many have called for additional weight classes for the sake of fighters’ health and safety. It could also allow fighters to look in better shape come fight time.

But UFC President Dana White is not for adding additional weight classes. He says it’s simply not the answer because it could actually have the opposite effect of what’s intended.

“People are like, ‘Add weight classes, do this, do that,'” White said. “It’s never going to change. You’re still going to have people trying to…let’s say I add a 165-pound weight class. That will only mean bigger guys will try to make 165. Everybody’s always looking for an advantage.”

White says there are healthier alternatives to weight cutting, especially when it comes to one of the more popular and well-known forms of weight cutting in combat sports — dehydration. Back at the UFC 216 post-fight press conference, White said Lee was offered consultation at the UFC’s Performance Institute but declined.

White emphasized the UFC will do whatever to help its fighters with cutting weight for fights.

“There’s ways to cut weight,” White said. “There’s safe ways. There’s scientific ways. Nutritionists can help you do this. Everybody just wants to take shortcuts and the easy way. But, there is no easy way when you’re cutting weight.

“Jeff Novitzky — the guy we hired who handles all the USADA stuff — he’s tracking all these guys’ weights. He tracks them. When you come in the week of the fight we find out where you are compared to where you were the last couple times you fought.”

Original Story: MMA Mania

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