The California State Athletic Commission approved sweeping changes to the way weight cutting and weigh-ins are handled in the state today, potentially ending the trend of fighters dehydrating themselves to the point of near death. CSAC head Andy Foster announced his 10 point plan to curb the practice at the end of March, putting the max a fighter can cut at 10% of their body weight.
The big question following his reveal was whether various fight companies would resist the program, but letters from promotions UFC, Bellator, and Invicta all supported the change. During a media scrum leading up to UFC 211, Dana White gave his approval to Foster's attempt to make the sport safer but stopped short of agreeing to the idea of adding more weight classes, one of the commission recommendations.
You can read the full 10 point plan here, but key protections include having a fighter's weight class approved by a doctor during the medical evaluation portion of licensing. Fighters face stiffer fines for missing weight, and those who gain more than 10% of their body weight between weigh-ins and fight day may be forced to move up a weight class in the future.
Put together and applied properly, the 10-point plan could curb the dangerous practices being engaged in these days that have landed fighters in the hospital and damaged their organs and endocrine system. Done incorrectly, and we could end up seeing fighters cutting weight more often to cheat physicals and possibly even getting into the cage dehydrated. Fighters who can compete at one weight class in all other states may not be allowed to do the same in California.
With the rules going into effect on June 15th, it's a tricky situation ... one we'll get to watch play out when the UFC returns to California on July 29th in Anaheim. That card is set to feature light heavyweight champ Daniel Cormier vs. Jon Jones, and considering the drama surrounding Cormier the last time he made weight, it will be interesting to see how he handles all these new limits and regulations. Don’t even get me started on if Cris Cyborg gets added to the card....