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ONE Championship bans weight cutting by dehydration, challenges UFC to follow suit

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ONE Championship

If you're going to compete for ONE Championship, Asia's preeminent mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion, you're going to have to part ways with the sauna. In fact, you can also say goodbye to the rubber suit and stationary bike, as the days of dehydrating yourself to make weight are official over.

The sooner the better.

The new program will introduce "walking-weight" competition by way of multiple weigh-ins, as well as tests before and during fight week, including three hours before an event begins. Hopefully, that will eliminate any dramatic fluctuations on the scale.

Or worse.

"ONE Championship has paved the way for MMA in Asia and we have always been at the forefront of innovation for the sport. By banning weight cutting by dehydration, we are leading the way globally for enhanced safety standards for professional MMA athletes," CEO of ONE Championship Victor Cui said.

"We believe that through the implementation of this new weigh-in program, our fighters will enjoy a safer and healthier life inside and outside of the cage. I invite the other two major global MMA organizations, Bellator and UFC, to follow in our footsteps to protect athletes and to eliminate the process of weight cutting by dehydration."

UFC recently outlawed IV hydration under USADA.

Weight cutting practices, always the source of much contention in combat sports, were once again called into question when ONE Championship flyweight Yang Jian Bing passed away while cutting weight for his "Spirit of Champions" bout earlier this month in Manila.

The program takes effect in January.