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Tag: MMA weight cutting

Association of Ringside Physicians Launches New Crusade Against Unhealthy Weight-Cutting in Combat Sports


(Photo via Andrew Mills/The Star Ledger)

In late January, the Association of Ringside Physicians released a public statement calling for the end of therapeutic use exemptions for testosterone replacement therapy in combat sports. Though the ARP is simply an advocacy group that promotes fighter-safety, and has no official ties to state athletic commissions, the resulting publicity kicked off the final wave of anti-TRT sentiment in the world of mixed martial arts. A month later, the Nevada State Athletic Commission banned testosterone therapy for combat sports athletes.

Fresh off that success, the Association of Ringside Physicians is now setting its sights on another controversial facet of professional fighting that is just as damaging to athletes’ health as PED use — improper weight cutting. Check out the ARP’s new statement on weight management below, which summarizes the health risks associated with significant and repeated weight cuts, and suggests how the situation can be improved.

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For Immediate Release
March 24, 2014

Association of Ringside Physicians Releases Consensus Statement on Weight Management in Professional Combat Sports

The Association of Ringside Physicians (ARP), an international, non-profit organization dedicated to the health and safety of the boxer and mixed martial arts athlete, has released a consensus statement on weight management in professional combat sports as follows:

Introduction
Unhealthy and sometimes dangerous weight loss practices continue to be a significant problem in amateur and professional combat sports. The ARP recommends that regulatory bodies adopt standardized weigh-in policies in conjunction with year-round weight management and educational programs.

Discussion
There is a growing body of information in the medical literature that presents unequivocal evidence of the danger of excessive weight loss, rapid weight loss, and repeated cycling of weight gain and loss. Rapid weight loss and dehydration have been proven to negatively affect a number of health-related parameters including…

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Last-Resort Alert: James Te Huna Dropping to Middleweight After Consecutive First Round Losses at LHW


(Playing dead: Works against bears, not against Shogun Rua. Photo via Getty.)

James Te Huna‘s 2013 got off to a rocky start. The hard-hitting slugger was paired against Canadian splitster Ryan Jimmo at UFC on FUEL 7 in February, and was favored as high as 3-to-1 over the former CP guest blogger. Early in the first round, however, Te Huna ate a vicious head kick that would have ended the night of a lesser man. Although the New Zealander would right the course and end up defeating Jimmo via unanimous decision, he would drop his next two contests to current title challenger Glover Teixeira and former champion Mauricio Rua via first round submission and KO, respectively.

While there’s no shame in losing to either of those gentlemen, Te Huna has quickly gone from one of the division’s top fighters to one who could be fighting for his job. The four fight win streak he was able to build in the wake of his UFC 127 loss to Alexander Gustafsson erased, it appears that Te Huna is opting for a favorite change-up amongst struggling MMA fighters: Dropping a weight class to save his career.

Te Huna recently sat down with The MMA Corner to discuss how his decision to drop to 185 for the first time in his career came about. The answer may surprise you (if you were in a coma all of last year):

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Ulysses Gomez Collapses While Cutting Weight; Cage Warriors 62 Main Event Scrapped


(Photo via Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

The physical stress that fighters endure during weight cuts can inflict more long-lasting damage than anything they do inside the cage. MMA’s most recent death was reportedly due to weight-cut-related complications, and just last month Brian Melancon retired because of worsening kidney problems.

MMA’s latest weight-cutting cautionary tale comes to us courtesy of flyweight Ulysses Gomez, who collapsed while cutting weight for his Cage Warriors 62 headlining fight against Neil Seery and was hospitalized. Even though Gomez wanted to move forward with Saturday’s fight anyway, Cage Warriors made the only sane decision and scrapped it. If you’ll recall, Gomez vs. Seery was one of the non-UFC fights we were most looking forward to this weekend, so this sucks on multiple levels.

Once considered one of the greatest 125-pounders in the world, Gomez couldn’t find success on the sport’s largest stage, going 0-2 in the UFC. He was released by the promotion February, and was subsequently denied the chance to try out for TUF 18. The Cage Warriors 62 main event was supposed to be Gomez’s return to competition. Unfortunately, his layoff will continue until he gets his next fight booked.

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Photo of the Day: “Big Country” Nelson Is Now Just “Country” Nelson


(Well, at least they aren’t fist-posing. Photo via Nelson’s Facebook.)

Yep, that’s TUF 10 winner, TUF 16 coach and UFC heavyweight Roy “Big Country” Nelson, looking trimmer than Tom Hanks at the end of Cast Away (which, with the Saddam Hussein circa 2003 beard and all, might be exactly the look he is going for).

Nelson’s weight has been a topic of much discussion over the years — usually in the aftermath of a particularly stinging loss — to the point that he once promised to cut to light heavyweight if enough people “liked” his Facebook page. Although his challenge was unsuccessful, it looks like Nelson is finally starting to take this weight-cutting thing seriously.

And it couldn’t come a day sooner. With Nelson set to face former Olympic wrestler and Strikeforce heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier at UFC 166, he’ll need to be in tip-top shape if he is to avoid dropping his second straight contest for the first time since 2011. It also appears as if Nelson has heeded the requests of Cormier’s camp and undergone a Dumb and Dumber-style makeover in regards to his facial hair. Stipulations of his new contract, maybe?

Previously: Enough Jokes — Roy Nelson Needs to Leave the Heavyweight Division

-J. Jones

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Dana White Eyeing Lyoto Machida vs. Vitor Belfort Middleweight Fight at UFC 167


(“Alright, enough horsing around. Your mother spent all day making this stew and I’ll be damned if we’re not going to eat it.”) 

Times have been tough for Lyoto Machida since the era bearing his name came to a screeching halt at UFC 113. The once seemingly invincible/untouchable Brazilian has dropped 4 of his past 7 fights, including a split decision loss to Phil Davis at UFC 163 that sucked as much as we all knew it would. The fact that “The Dragon” has been forced to drink the urine of complete strangers just to survive says more about his dire situation than anything else, really.

On the other side of the coin, fellow Brazilian and occasional training partner of Machida, Vitor Belfort, has seen a career resurgence as of late, knocking out Michael Bisping and Luke Rockhold in back-to-back contests. And while it’s rare to see a fighter coming off a loss paired against one coming off a win, that’s exactly what Dana White has in mind. The Baldfather recently told Ariel Helwani, who in turn relayed the message on MMA Tonight, that he “loved” the idea of seeing a Machida vs. Belfort co-main event at UFC 167, which goes down in Vegas on November 16th. Here’s the catch: The fight would be held at middleweight.

Given Belfort’s recent refusal to fight anyone (looking at you, Tim) at 185 unless it’s for a title shot, this seems like wishful thinking on White’s part. There’s also the fact that Lyoto has never fought below 205, although he has stated in the past that he would be willing to make the cut for the right fight. On top of all that, Belfort has already called out Chael Sonnen and would stand next to no chance of getting licensed in Vegas with a TRT exemption. So yeah, expect Belfort to shoot this matchup down any. second. now.

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WTF?! of the Day: Bigfoot Silva Attempting Cut to LHW to Fight “Mentally Sick” Thiago Silva


(“God, I could so go for an eclair right now-NO! FIGHT IT, BIGFOOT! PUNCH THE HUNGER AWAY.”) 

We know, we know, not a goddamn word in that title makes sense.

Let’s run a hypothetical scenario by you: You’re a 6’4”, 285-pound, acromegalic UFC fighter. Your head is the size of a Ronco Showtime Rotisserie & BBQ and your fists were the models upon which Hulk Hands were molded. Being that you’re Brazilian, you also have an eternal blood feud with another UFC-employed fighter/camp that can be traced back to ancient blood drawings on the Pico da Neblina.

So your enemy of all enemies finally gets back from his most recent suspension and picks up an impressive win inside the octagon. You could use a nice win yourself, being that you were just knocked out by your division’s champion for the second time (in a year) in your last fight. However, the 70 pound weight advantage you hold over your foe all but rules that option out. Do you a) Needle the shit out of the guy until he agrees to fight you at a catchweight or b) Try and settle things on the streets — no gloves, no rules, ala Rocky V.

Well, if you’re Antonio Silva, the answer is c) attempt a suicidal weight cut to get to that sonofabitch, who in this case is light heavyweight Thiago Silva (via FightersOnly):

I personally will attend the doctors to see if I am able to lose weight without spoiling my health. If can do it, I will drop weight to make this fight for sure. All I want to do is just fight him because words won’t make him change.

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This Week in Obesity: Gegard Mousasi, Daniel Cormier Hint at Upcoming Drops to Middleweight & Light Heavyweight, Respectively


(Mousasi, seen here trying to convince Burt Watson that his tummy is simply an optical illusion created by the unflattering pattern of his shirt. Or what we here in America refer to as The Burgundy Defense.) 

Clearly, we are being shamelessly facetious with that title, for neither Daniel Cormier or Gegard Mousasi could be considered “obese” by any stretch of the imagination. Sure, Cormier is a little heavy for his height, I guess, but his layer of protective fat is a necessity. How the hell else is he suppose to ensure that his own bones are not completely shattered by the shockwave of the wrecking balls he regularly throws at his sparring partners and opponents? He tried cutting a lot of weight once before and it damn near killed him, so what do you people want from the poor guy?! LEAVE DC ALONE, DAMMIT.

I’m sorry, I was a fat child. But thanks to the powers of MMA, I can proudly stand before you as the picture of modern health that I am today. Cormier apparently shares my enthusiasm for all things dietary, as he recently spoke with USA Today and MMAJunkie about the likelihood that he will drop to 205 to fight Jon Jones once and for all. Just not immediately:

USA Today: Physically, I’m different now. When I was saying that I couldn’t make light heavyweight, it wasn’t happening. At my heaviest, I was 264 pounds. I was consistently weighing in for fights at 250 pounds, and that was after training camps. I was losing 7, 8 pounds and being 250 pounds at weigh-ins. Now, I wake up in the morning, and I’m 234 pounds. That’s almost a 20-pound difference. Now it seems realistic. I’m lighter now than even when I was wrestling.

MMAJunkie: At first, I was like so emotionally tied to that fight. I was like, ‘I want to fight Jon Jones. I want to be in that division and fight him immediately.’ But I’m not a very impulsive guy. I kind of think things through.

I’ve thought about it, and I wouldn’t be opposed to fighting one time before then just to see how my body reacts to the weight cut. It’d be very difficult to fight him in my very first fight (at light heavyweight), in a five-round fight, and my first time down in the weight and everything. As I’ve thought about it, I kind of feel it’d be in our best interest to maybe take a fight. 

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Hector Lombard Enlists Mike Dolce to Make Welterweight Test Cut Following Upcoming Nose Surgery


(Alas, it appears that the joyous age of ice cream cake and tomato cans has come and gone.)

Since entering the UFC almost a year ago to the day and bringing with him an unprecedented amount of hype (and one hefty price tag to boot), former Bellator middleweight kingpin Hector Lombard has been through some pretty tough times. After seeing his 25-fight win streak snapped via boredom in his UFC debut, Lombard scored a rebound TKO victory over Rousimar Palhares before succumbing to the patented grapplefuckery of Yushin Okami at UFC on FUEL 8. 

And although Dana White is not ready to label Lombard a bust just yet — and rightfully so, for Okami can and has grapplefucked the best of ‘em — it’s become quite apparent that Lombard isn’t quite the eater of worlds that he was made out to be in Bellator. Then again, when you’re paired up against guys like Trevor Prangley and “Whisper” Goodman, it’s hard not to build such a reputation. In either case, it appears that Lombard has realized that at just 5’8″, perhaps the middleweight division isn’t where he belongs anymore.

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It Looks Like Ben Henderson’s Days As a Lightweight Are Numbered


(Henderson, seen here making Shane Roller rapidly consider cutting to featherweight at WEC 40.) 

No, we are not jumping on the Nate Diaz bandwagon. Not yet, at least.

In a recent interview with MMAJunkie, current UFC lightweight champion Ben Henderson resentfully admitted something that no athlete is ever quick to declare: He ain’t getting any younger. And because of this, it is getting harder and harder for a massive lightweight such as “Smooth” to make the required cut for each of his title defenses. How much weight does he cut? Henderson didn’t reveal the exact number, but several close sources claimed that the lightweight champ normally resides around the 180-pound mark often up to just a few days out from fight night. It’s a massive, draining cut for any athlete to undergo, and as we’ve seen in the past, can have devastating effects on the human body. Henderson is no different, and acknowledged that he has struggled to deal with the cut as he has gotten older:

When I was in college and wrestling, I would wrestle all day long and not get tired. I remember wrestling hard for five hours – literally five hours hard –  and be just fine. I would eat friggin’ Taco Bell, be fine, and wrestle again.

I’m growing, but as far as maturing and getting thicker, I think I’m getting older right now, and it’s getting harder for me to lose the weight … and it’s harder for me to keep the weight off.

Henderson’s UFC on FOX 5 opponent, Nate Diaz, is no stranger to the difficulty of weight cutting, having moved up to welterweight to fight on several occasions but finding much less success there. The same could be argued for Henderson, who stands at a mere 5 foot 9 and would hold a distinct size disadvantage were he to move up in weight. But according to Henderson, it is only a matter of time until the choice is no longer an option.

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And Now He’s Fired: Dennis Hallman Cut After Totally Screwing One of Our Parlays


(The ballsiest fighter to ever step foot in the octagon. *rimshot*) 

Well, we called this one.

In his past three fights, longtime MMA veteran Dennis Hallman has made some startling (not to mention amateur) choices to say the least. After losing a bet to his friend that resulted in one of the most horrifying wardrobe malfunctions of all time against Brian Ebersole at UFC 133, Dennis showed up two and a half pounds overweight for his fight against John Makdessi at UFC 140 and was subsequently fined 20% of his purse. Luckily for him, he was able to pick up a win. Unfortunately for him, he apparently took nothing away from the close call, and showed up seven pounds overweight at yesterday’s weigh-ins. His scheduled opponent, Thiago Tavares, basically treated the situation with an “Are you serious, bro?” but was able to strike a deal with Hallman that if he could get down to only 3 pounds over the limit, the fight would be on.

Hallman was allegedly able to do so, but Tavares then asked him to cut an additional pound, at which point Hallman asked to be removed from the card and became the most recent UFC fighter to join the unemployment line.

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