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Weight cut for mma fights

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  • Weight cut for mma fights

    Are there any fighters out there that could attest to this? What is the best way of going about a weight cut before a fight? Based on what I have read fighters walk around at whatever weight (depending on the overall year-round conditioning they decide to keep in) and when it comes time to prep for a fight they go to training camp. I have read that training camp usually lasts 8-10 weeks. During this time the fighter dials in their nutrition and trains for their fights. When it comes down to the last 5-7 they start water and sodium manipulation and really focus on calorie restriction. 2-3 days out they start cutting water and sodium intake. And the last 24 hours, they stop water intake (to only an absolutely "about to pass out without it" basis).

    I have read you should always stay within 10-12 pounds of your fight weight, to not only make the cut much easier to withstand but also to recover rehydrate much faster.

    Does the above process seem like the usual knowledge in how to cut weight? I have seen how ripped those guys get (ie Chael Sonnen looking shredded on the scale before his fight vs. Silva, then looking a little softer in the cage). I never knew how different you could ook by just cutting water like that. This whole process definitely has shown me the light on how unhealthy it is to cut weight to looked that shredded (ie bodybuilder ripped), and almost impossible to keep that condition for more than a day or two max.

    But back to the question. What is the best way to go about a weight cut. Is the 10-12 pounds idea a general rule of thumb? What are some of the methods to cut pounds before a fight that you guys out there may know of?

  • #2
    I'd say that sounds about like we did it in wrestling. Everyone had developed their own tweaks to these methods over the years. These days I would manipulate my nutrition to go VLC for a while before weigh-ins.

    The water thing is right on. Last 3 days or so you start wringing your body of any water you can with sauna, exercise with garbage bags on, and severely reduce any intake (this along with what will probably be a 3 day fast from food in many cases). After weigh ins rehydrate and eat like a champ....

    Another thing I would consider changing is I might consider making the 5-7 lb range my walking around weight prior to the cut as a wrestler. Now as an MMA guy that has 8-10 weeks to get to weight 10-12 lb seems fine.
    Last edited by Neckhammer; 08-07-2012, 06:48 AM.


    • #3
      I had an idea of this before, but know after reading more into mma, not only is water intake essential to life, but hydration seems to be more crucial to performance than nutrition. When it comes down to performance is hydration slightly/greatly more important than nutrition? Because sometimes nutrition(food intake) and hydration don't necessarily go hand in hand.


      • #4
        Another thing I would consider changing is I might consider making the 5-7 lb range my walking around weight prior to the cut as a wrestler. Now as an MMA guy that has 8-10 weeks to get to weight 10-12 lb seems fine.[/QUOTE]

        I thought it was more like when they cut the 10-12 pounds for mma, they did that in the last 24 hours. You would most like lose weight during training camp, but you weighed what you weighed and in that last 24 hours they would cut that last poundage to make weight. I thought it meant that that "last poundage" should be no more than 10-12 pounds.


        • #5
          Cutting weight is gross. I hate it. I've used a method where you drink TOO MUCH water until about 24 hours before weigh-ins (so much water. makes you wanna puke), then abruptly cut it out completely. It signals some hormone that tells your body to release water and you get to spend a few days at work running to pee every 5 minutes, but you lose weight. I can't sleep with my throat all dry for 2-3 days before a fight, so the other method doesn't work well for me.
          The Champagne of Beards


          • #6
            The weight cut definitely sucks but I guess it depends on how much you have to cut. It was interesting to hear that Chael Sonnen had to cut 20 lbs within 24 hours to fight Silva. Obviously he got refueled for the fight and was ready to go. He looked super shredded though when he was on the scale as opposed to what he looked like it the cage. I had no idea you could look that different just based on body hydration levels.

            But that really shows us the difference between aesthetics and performance. You can look that great but obviously cannot retain it for long or perform well with it. this leads me to another question though about hydration.

            I always thought when it came to performance fueling, nutrition was king. But based on what I hear about dehydration negatively impacting your performance (Water, Water Everywhere: Let’s Get ‘High(Hy)’-drated…) and see how awful these guys feel when the dehydrate o make weight, hydration seems to be more essential to life and performance.

            What do you guys think? In terms of performance, do nutrition and hydration need to go hand in hand, or should we focus more on hydration?


            • #7
              In terms of performance for a brief intense bout I would say your ability to rehydrate quickly far outweighs your ability to rectify your nutrition. Depends how long weigh ins are before you have go to it. I think Judo or some other thing have to literally weight in right before stepping on the mat. In that case you better be AT your fighting weight. Basically lean mean hydrated and ready to rock. If you got an hour or two (like in my wrestling) then you have time to hydrate and eat some quick energy. If you have like a whole day (some boxing and other fights)......well you got time for a couple of well rounded meals along with your rehydration.


              • #8
                Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
                If you have like a whole day (some boxing and other fights)......well you got time for a couple of well rounded meals along with your rehydration.
                Or an IV. Everyone should weigh in right before they fight, like Judo or CBJJ-run Jiu Jitsu tournaments. Then we'd see who's the strongest fighter at each weight, not who's the strongest guy who can cut down to a certain weight.
                The Champagne of Beards


                • #9
                  ^ Not to mention that you don't just lose fluid in your body but you also lose cerebrospinal fluid which isn't necessarily what you want when getting hit in the head.


                  • #10
                    ^ Good points. I would indite the system if I could, but when competing you just look for a way to work it. When I was competing creatine was very popular and a few guys died as they where in the dehydrate phase and their kidneys would shut down. Not good stuff.


                    • #11
                      Professional boxing changed the weigh in rules around the time of the Duk Koo Kim - Ray Mancini tragedy. They used to do same day weigh ins but changed that in lieu of Kim's death. Of course, the "problem" is that you frequently see fighters gaining up to 10-20% of their total body weight in the 24-36 hours between weigh in and fight now...