Posted 1 years ago

MMA General

MMA:In need of weight reforms ?

MMA:In need of weight reforms ?
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To ensure fair fights, fighters in various combat sports mustweigh strictly within certain limits, depending on the category. This can often give rise to “weight cutting” weeks before a match, a practice followed by many fighters.

Moreover, while the fighter’s weight is measured to ensure qualification in a certain category, this is often not adhered to later, when players gain back their weight, to their advantage. Such drastic weight changes are not only harmful to their health, but also to their performance.

 

The practice of weight cutting typically involves three stages. The first of these is the chronic weight loss stage (CWL), where fighters decrease their calorie intake and increase their training leading up to the weigh-in.

The second stage is that of the Rapid Weight Loss (RPL), which involves a drastic reduction in the intake of fluids and food, in the last few days prior to the weigh-in. This is followed by the Rapid Weight Gain (RWG) stage, where the athletes consume calories to gain back the lost weight.

This overall regime is typically achieved by missing at least one meal a day, or even fasting for the entire day, with some athletes reportedly consuming as little as 300-750 calories per day, in the week leading up to the weigh-in.

This can be severely harmful to athletes who go on to fight in matches that need upwards of 3000 calories for optimal performance. This energy and fluid deprivation increases, among other things, the glycogen availability in the brain, which is essential for its functioning.

 

Unsurprisingly, there have been numerous cases of adverse effects on the health of athletes, such as when they pass out in matches, (or even during the weigh-in itself), blindness, hospitalizations, emergency surgeries and even deaths.

Considering the long and short terms hazards posed by weight cutting, it is therefore unfortunate that there are no dedicated regulations that seek to eliminate the practice. While there are rules, including hydration checks, athletes often treat these as rules to be circumvented, rather than followed.

The need of the hour, is therefore, a change in the culture of the MMA. As a larger number of younger athletes enter the sport, the governing bodies, fighters, and their coaches must come together, and draft regulations that make the sport less hazardous and more sustainable for the fighters.

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