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Association of Ringside Physicians issues memo advising MMA fighters to abandon 'extreme' measures of weight-cutting

Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

Weight-cutting has been a hot topic in the world of mixed martial arts (MMA) as of late, as there have been plenty of bouts that have been canceled due to fighters suffering complications as a result of the difficult process.

More importantly than losing a bout, though, is a fighter's health, as there have been many instances in which the athlete has passed out when trying to shed the extra pounds prior to tipping the scale.

Just last Sunday night (Feb. 22, 2015) T.J. Waldburger was forced out of his bout against Wendell Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 61 in Brazil after he fainted in an elevator. This, despite the fact Waldburger declared that the weight cut for the fight was one of the easiest he had been a part of.

Jim Hettes suffered the same fate prior to his proposed bout against Diego Brandao, which was set to do down at UFC 183 this past January. UFC 177 saw two high-profile combatants get their fights cancelled, as Renan Barao and Henry Cejudo were both forced out of the event after suffering complications during their respective weight cuts.

More on those cases here and here.

On the heels of these and other unfortunate incidents, The Association of Ringside Physicians (ARP) has issued a memo (see it here via MMA Junkie) advising all professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters to abandon "extreme" methods of losing weight so close to fight night.

From the report:

One recent study found that 39% of MMA fighters were entering competition in a dehydrated state. Heat illness and death in athletes have already happened in the sports of wrestling and MMA. It's been shown that excessive weight loss,rapid weight loss, and repeated cycling of weight gain/loss causes decreased performance, hormonal imbalance, decreased nutrition, and increased injury risk.

Some of those measures include getting rid of traditional methods such as saunas or wearing rubber suits while working out. The ARP recommends that all fighters try to stick to proper eating regimen and workout routine year-round to avoid having to lose so much weight in such little time.

Of course, that's easier said than done, as most fighters prefer to take the fast approach in shedding the pounds as opposed to restricting their diet on a daily basis all year long.

Then again, it may be a small price to pay for a professional athlete considering the dangers "extreme" weight-cutting may have on the person, as the memo states that decrease heart and cardiovascular function, kidney failure and brain injury, among other things, can occur.

Not to mention the ill-effects it can have on your performance come fight night. And in rare instances, the difficult process of shedding weight in such a short period of time has resulted in death.

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