MMA Yang Jian Bing

CSAC has approved a new set of policies for MMA weight-cutting

Last December, the CSAC organized a dehydration and weight-cutting summit held in Los Angeles, California. Representatives from different MMA promotion companies including the UFC and Bellator have come together and attended the said event. Dr. Edmund Ayoub, the vice president of ARP, also known as the Association of Ringside Physicians, was the speaker of the said summit and discussed the current issue concerning the fighters.

This meeting took place just days after ONE Championship MMA fighter Yang Jian Bing passed away due to complications from weight cutting. A couple of weeks later, the said promotion implemented its own strict weight-cutting policies on fighters and surprisingly, almost everyone in the entire roster moved up a weight class.

MMA Yang Jian BingStudies have shown that extreme weight cutting and dehydration can make fighters more susceptible to concussions and brain trauma. Ayoub said that not only is 24 hours not enough time to rehydrate the brain, fighters will also be weaker and performance will suffer after severe dehydration followed by rapid rehydration.

Studies have proven that dehydration and extreme weight cutting can make fighters more prone to brain trauma and injuries.

At the summit, John Carvelli, the chairman of the CSAC, asked around 30-40 people in the summit if they think that extreme weight cutting was a problem in MMA. Everyone agreed.

“We’re all agreeing this is a significant problem. It is our responsibility to address this problem. That’s what we do. Basically it comes down to health and safety. Andy Foster is all about watching how much they cut, dehydrate. And he’s very worried about the safety of cutting weight. I agree with him. We’re gonna do this test in Kansas to see how it works.” Carvelli said.

Bellator’s president, Scott Coker, clarified that he is not against the new policies about the weight cutting issue. In fact, Bellator will be participating to an experiment on a new weigh-in process which will be held in Kansas. MMA fighters will now have the option to do their weigh-in between 10 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon the day before the MMA bout. This experiment by the Kansas Athletic Commission was extremely influenced by Foster and the CSAC.

The IV ban, on the other hand, has already been implemented by the UFC and the USADA, which is the anti-doping partner of the said promotion. Carvelli is urging Bellator to follow the same steps. Ayoub has proposed a longer time in between the weigh-ins and the bout to give time to MMA fighters to rehydrate. So instead of 24 hours, the CSAC extended the timeframe to 30 hours. The commission is also looking into extending the said hours to 72 in the future.

Coker also revealed that he had talked to Foster about doing implementing these policies one step at a time but he’s not sure if the new CSAC policies qualify as such.

“I’m really concerned about that to be honest with you. There’s health and safety, but I also think that we have to be careful that we don’t overreact to the point where none of the big fights will come here. This is not just Andy, but commissions in general. We want health and safety as well. They want health and safety. But if you look at MMA’s health and safety record, it’s pretty amazing. What I do believe is they’re trying to do what’s best for the fighter and make sure that nothing happens to the athlete,” Coker added.