Alabama is the latest state to address the issue of extreme weight cutting in mixed martial arts.
The Alabama Athletic Commission (AAC) has passed a package of weight-cutting reform rules that will go into effect Aug. 5, AAC executive director Jody McCormick told MMA Fighting on Friday. The set of rules is similar to California’s 10-point plan, but on a smaller scale because of the relative size of the commission.
“We understand that there are multiple measures proposed to address the issue of drastic weight cutting in combative sports,” McCormick said. “In our opinion, regardless of which plan you go with, doing something is the important step. To do nothing would be turning our backs to the fighters we are here to protect. I call for all regulators to simply do something. Our fighters deserve our full attention and to do nothing could potentially lead to grave consequences.”
Under the Alabama plan, fighters who miss weight more than once will be required to move up a weight class unless cleared by a physician. All weight misses will be recorded by Alabama and added to the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC) database, including the fighters that the commission has required to move up in weight class due to multiple misses.
In addition, Alabama will adopt the morning weigh-in as its official weigh-in and add a fight-day weight check. If a fighter comes in more than 10 percent above the contracted weight on fight day, that fighter could be asked to move up a weight class for future competition. Dehydration will be checked by doctors during the official weigh-ins and the fight-day weight check.
Alabama joins the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation and the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA), who have adopted all or parts of the California State Athletic Commission’s (CSAC) 10-point plan.
Pennsylvania is adopting a plan for amateur fighters like NCAA college wrestling where athletes will have their minimum weight class figured out via testing for body-fat percentages and fighters will not be able to cut to a division below that minimum.
Earlier this week, the UFC Performance Institute released an analysis after one year of being operational. When it comes to nutrition, the staff’s medical and scientific recommendation for fighters is that they stay within 10 percent of their contracted weight on fight day for optimal performance and health.