Another week of MMA means one other set of weigh-ins, and everyone knows what to anticipate.
It’s all the time the identical – the identical haunting expression on these fighters’ faces. The identical struggling. I all the time discover myself questioning: When are we going to appreciate the ignorance of what we’re doing?
We make these fighters undergo excessive dehydration 24 hours earlier than an extremely robust sporting occasion – earlier than a combined martial arts match, the place the opposing participant will do completely something and the whole lot in his or her capacity to knock us out chilly or apply another method that can render us unable to proceed. And this can occur for 15 and even 25 minutes. It is a struggle, ! This has to qualify as Ignorance 2.0.
I feel a parallel is when the tobacco trade marketed menthol cigarettes for bronchial asthma: “Just what the physician ordered.”
We are merely caught right here, and there may be not sufficient important realization or dialogue to attempt to change something.
For instance, in lots of locations, we’re utilizing mechanical scales at official weigh-ins fairly than exact digital ones. I’ve requested round for a purpose for this, however nobody appears in a position to give me one.
Just a few weeks in the past in Houston at UFC 262, there was a distinction between the exact digital scale backstage and the mechanical one out entrance. Several occasions, a fighter acquired up on the mechanical scale and showed a weight above what he had simply weighed on the digital one backstage. These poor guys had been already dehydrating and struggling. They needed to take all their clothes off, or in some instances even return and lose one other two-tenths of a pound, which was the distinction that was exhibiting on the 2 scales. It may not appear to be a giant deal to you sitting there studying this, but it surely’s a extremely large deal when you may have simply spent the previous few days weight-reduction plan laborious – and the final 24 hours dehydrating your self.
The officers overseeing the weigh-ins positive didn’t appear to care. It’s a whole disconnect between the individuals and the regulators. Of course, they aren’t those dehydrating. Mechanical scale? Come on. It’s 2021. We can do higher.
There is just no logical purpose for us to maintain on measuring weight on this means. It’s detrimental to everybody concerned. It’s unhealthy for the athletes as a result of they don’t solely undergo on the day of weighing in – they undergo by the entire course of, and that’s not even mentioning their total well being.
It’s unhealthy for the promotions. How many fights get canceled as a result of missed weight?
It’s unhealthy for the followers. A struggle between two athletes who didn’t simply undergo dehydration to make weight can be a hell of so much higher than a matchup between two fighters who simply went by this insane course of 24 hours earlier, clearly.
Objectively talking, there’s a higher system, and it’s being used successfully in ONE Championship. It doesn’t allow dehydration with a view to attain a selected weight. Both weight and hydration (utilizing a easy machine known as a fractometer, which measures density of a liquid) are measured twice within the two days previous to the struggle. The weights are one division above what they’d be right here, for the easy purpose that’s about what fighters are dehydrating with a view to attain the present weight divisions.
What athletes are doing, in actuality, is dropping 10 or 15 kilos after which placing it again on within the subsequent 24 hours. If you step again and give it some thought, you’ll understand that this makes completely no sense. After 24 hours, the weights between two fighters can be totally different, in any case. One particular person will are likely to put extra weight again on – on this case, liquid – than the opposite, so it fully defeats your entire function of limiting weight benefit between the fighters.
In the opposite system, this doesn’t occur as a lot as a result of the 2 individuals didn’t dehydrate to succeed in a sure weight threshold within the first place, which additionally signifies that they won’t have a tendency so as to add lots of weight again on afterward, both. It would simply make them slower and heavier than they should be.
I don’t faux to personal the reality right here. All I can let you know about is what I’ve seen and skilled myself. But what I can attest to is that we aren’t discussing this subject incessantly sufficient. We are usually not making an attempt to evolve, to enhance. We are simply doing the identical factor over and over and over. Who cares, proper? It’s not us who’s doing the struggling.
We should do higher.
Alex Davis is a lifelong practitioner of martial arts and a former Brazilian judo champion. A founding member of American Top Team, Davis presently oversees the careers of quite a lot of distinguished Brazilian fighters, together with Edson Barboza, Antonio Carlos Junior, Rousimar Palhares, Thiago “Marreta” Santos, Antonio Silva and Thiago Tavares, amongst others. Davis is a daily contributor to MMAjunkie, sharing his present views on the game constructed by his views that date again to the Brazilian roots of contemporary MMA.