In case you haven’t heard, there’s been another hospitalization due to a botched weight cut. Before UFC 209, Khabib Nurmagomedov had to go to the hospital after having made weight for his upcoming fight. After his stay in the hospital, doctors didn’t clear him to fight. Of course, this isn’t the first time it’s happened in mixed martial arts. I’m not sure that it’s happened in Olympic lifting or powerlifting, but since they are weight class based sports, it’s worth talking about.

 

The process

The idea behind weight cutting, while legal in these sports, is to deceive. It is to make you appear lighter than you are. By doing so, it puts you at a better advantage in comparison to everyone else in your weight class.

However, you now have other variables to compete against in addition to your athletic ability. You’re competing against their ability to rehydrate and gain weight, for one thing. If you weigh 175lbs walking around most of the time and you cut to 165, and your competitor decides to do the same, you’re competing against weight cutting ability. Even if the two of you are as strong as each other, if one of you doesn’t rehydrate like you should, strength will suffer.

So with that in mind, it becomes less fair. But as long as it’s legal and as long as there are day before weigh ins, people will still cut weight. So it’s worth it to take a look at what happens during a weight cut.

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