ROUNDTABLE (pt. 1 of 2): Which component of the CSAC 10-point plan to combat weight cutting will be most effective at protecting fighters?

Cody Garbrandt (photo credit Mark J. Rebilas © USA Today Sports)

Which one (or two or three) components of the CSAC 10-point plan to combat weight cutting do you think will be most effective in preventing extreme weight cutting measures? What else would you propose commissions do to combat weight cutting?


MIKE HISCOE, MMATorch contributor

The single component of the California State Athletic Commission’s proposal that I think would be most effective and the one I personally would recommend to any commission is the very first item on the proposal, “Licensing by Weight Class.” This would mean that when applying for a license, fighters would have to indicate the lightest weight class they intend to compete in is. They would then be examined by doctors and approved for a specific weight class. This takes the incentive to cut weight out of a fighter’s hands as it will ultimately not be their decision. Over time, a standard will be set as to what body types are appropriate for specific weight classes and, with everyone on a level playing field, extreme weight cutting should see a decline.

If I could make a proposal of my own, while counter-intuitive, I would run a pilot project on having fewer weight classes rather than more. If the weight classes are far enough apart that the next weight down would be unattainable, fighters may be less apt to cut and fight closer to their natural weight. If the proposed weight classes every 10 pounds becomes reality, my worry is that fighters may cut more weight because they may see cutting “just another 10 pounds” as a possibility and be enticed by the appeal of being big for a particular weight class.

FRANK HYDEN, MMATorch columnist

I think the checks to make sure that a fighter hasn’t gained more than 8 percent of their body weight back by fight day will really impact guys. I don’t know about creating two new weight classes (and eliminating one) as I’m not sure how the fighters will react to that, but I’m open to changes if they help combat missing weight and placing fighters in danger. You shouldn’t ever have to go to the hospital or try to avoid passing out in order to qualify to fight. Some of the steps may (or may not) sound crazy to some, but there’s nothing wrong with discussion. If nothing else, that would hopefully lead to meaningful changes. Even if only a few things on this 10-point plan are enacted, maybe that creates better fights and healthier fighters? I hope so, because that benefits everyone.

ADAM TINDAL, MMATorch contributor

We all know weight cutting is extremely dangerous and doesn’t always put the fighter at an advantage. I would much rather see more weight classes be implemented because the jump from 155 tp 170 is massive and, even more so, the jump from 185 to 205 is more insane. I like the idea of 155/165/175/190/205/225/HW.

NOW CHECK OUT THE PREVIOUS ROUNDTABLE: Before the rebranding to PFL, where did the World Series of Fighting fit into the MMA landscape?

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