Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC
Back in August the Arkansas State Legislature scored a victory for science and humanity by instituting a policy of day-of-fight weigh-ins at MMA events, a policy designed to make it impossible for fighters to pull off absurd weight cuts on a Friday and then balloon back up to something like healthy weights by Saturday. It was arguably the first major blow struck against the superstitious tyranny that is the modern-day MMA approach to cutting weight, a tyranny seemingly hell-bent on ignoring medicine, biology, and simple human decency in the name of—what, exactly?: tradition, machismo, fantasy?
Six months later, following the death of one of their fighters, Singapore-based MMA promotion ONE Championship announced a ban on weight-cutting by dehydration and the establishment of new restrictions aimed at forcing fighters to compete at their natural “walking-around” weights. Suddenly, after decades of delusion, it started to feel like a revolution of rationalism was creeping its way into MMA, our own Age of Reason.
Well, late last week there was a quiet contribution made to that revolution, not in the form of some new statewide legislation or promotional regulation but as a quick back-and-forth on Twitter between two mid-level UFC fighters. Not with a bang but with a whimper came this next chink in weight-cutting’s armor.
After it was announced that UFC lightweight Ross Pearson’s opponent at this weekend’s UFC Fight Night event in Brisbane, Australia, Abel Trujillo, had been replaced by Canadian Chad Laprise, Pearson contacted Laprise on Twitter to make a request: What say you and I forget about weight-cutting, with all its depleting miseries and perilous superstitions, and just fight? Forget about 155 pounds; let’s do 170 instead? Wouldn’t that be nice?
Laprise, who apparently doesn’t like cutting weight any more than Pearson does, and sensing a rare opportunity to ply ….View full article