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CSAC overhauls weight cutting procedures, bans fighter dehydration

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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) promised it was going to employ measures to combat extreme weight cutting when it gathered for a special summit last December in Los Angeles. The end goal is to prevent an athlete from dying as a result of dehydration.

It happens.

To that end, CSAC handed down emergency regulations on Tuesday (Feb. 2, 2016), which could take effect as soon as March 1. In addition to a ban on intravenous re-hydration, already implemented by United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), the commission will also disallow extreme weight cuts.

MMA Fighting explains how the "trial basis" will unfold:

Under the package, CSAC will now have the ability to collect urine samples from fighters for specific gravity tests, which detect proper hydration. If a fighter cannot pass that test, he or she will be given two to three hours to properly hydrate. If he or she still cannot pass the specific gravity test, the bout will be off. If severe dehydration is verified by a physician, CSAC now has the ability to not approve a fighter to compete in that weight class in the future.

Extreme weight cuts have been linked to concussions, traumatic brain injury, susceptibility to knockouts, and poor performance, according to the report.

ONE Championship eliminated weight cuts for its mixed martial arts (MMA) events late last year, following the death of flyweight prospect Yang Jian Bing (more on that here). It will be interesting to see what happens if and when Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to California.

Especially considering its biggest star hails from "The Golden State" -- and also cuts a significant amount of weight.