So you want to be a fighter? Chances are you probably know a little bit about the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, but one thing you might not realize is that you won’t fight at the same weight you walk around at. Yep, you heard me right. If you weigh 170 pounds then there is a good chance you won’t be fighting at the 170 pound welterweight class. More than likely you are going to be dropping down to fight opponents at 155 pounds. This practice is known as weight cutting and it is something that almost every Mixed Martial Artists does to get an edge and stay slightly a head of their opponent.
Why is weight cutting a common practice amongst Mixed Martial Artists? Somewhere along the lines the fighters realized that if they went about losing weight a certain way then they could weigh in light and replenish their body enough so that on fight day they would be bigger than their opponents giving them the strength and size advantage. Weight cutting most likely stems from wrestling as it is a common practice in that sport as well. You’d think that if ever fighter cuts weight to fight and puts it
on immediately after that they would just fight at their natural weight. This isn’t the case and don’t ask me why. It’s just one of those mysteries of MMA that you just have to follow in order to be competitive.
A proper weight cut starts months prior to your fight so that you can lose a majority of the weight leading up to the bout in a healthy manner. This is done with proper diet and exercise and fighters will lose anywhere between 10-20 pounds to get down to where they need to be (more or less depending upon the person). Going about it this way is much healthier than trying to sweat it out last minute. Your body has has time to adjust to the weight loss and if you are going about a proper diet then you can make sure to incorporate good muscle building proteins into your meals.
As fight day draws nearer you will enter the next phase in your weight cutting scheme. This may include increasing your fluid intake, spending time in a sauna, or watching what you eat. Some fighters will drink more water than necessary several days before their fight in order to trick their body into producing more urine and sweat so that when they reduce fluids the day of weigh ins their body will continue to produce the same amount of urine, thus eliminating more water weight.
Going about a weight cut really is a scientific process that involves knowledge of the human body and experience from cutting weight. You should practice cutting weight several times before you actually have a fight so that your body is comfortable with it an so you are use to the process. As always you need to make sure that you have a good coach or training partner who has gone through the process so you don’t wind up hurting yourself. If you don’t know how to weight cut the right way you
could really make yourself sick. Be smart and you will get to fight many times into the future. Weight cut the wrong way and you may end your career before you are ready to.