The issue of weight cutting is once again in the MMA news as the sport’s leading promotion worries that continued struggles could lead to the most severe consequence — government oversight. The practice, in which fighters significantly dehydrate their bodies to get under the agreed weight limit only to both rehydrate back to a higher weight on fight night, has long drawn criticism due to its ability to trigger expensive medical bills for the promotion, cancel fights fans were excited about and generate negative coverage from the media.
“Nobody wants to see the nightmare scenario,” UFC president Dana White said at a post-fight conference when asked about lightweight Bobby Green, who passed out after making weight for UFC 258. “All it’s going to take is one fighter dying and suddenly you have to worry that somebody at the commissions might try to do something, and nobody wants that. That’s why we have a team of doctors monitoring our fighters, and they’re committed to making sure that any attempted cuts aren’t allowed to progress beyond severe organ damage, temporary insanity and looking like death.”
White also noted that the struggles with weight cuts are only more concerning now during a global health pandemic. With so many fights being called off due to fighters testing positive for the virus on fight week, White said that there simply isn’t enough of a buffer to afford to keep having additional fights called off by fighters collapsing on the scale. “It’s time for these guys to start taking some responsibility before we have to do something drastic, like cancelling my Las Vegas snow birthday.”