This week’s UFC 199 event marks the first for UFC in the state of California since new regulations regarding weigh-ins were introduced.
Instead of athletes hitting the scale 24 hours before an event, they have the option to weigh in as early as 10am on Friday, a little over 29 hours before the first fight of the evening is scheduled to begin.
From 10am until 2pm, athletes will be allowed to weigh in. When they are ready, they will notify a CSAC representative, who will then observe the official weigh-in.
The results of the weigh-ins were revealed during the live broadcast of the UFC 199 weigh-ins.
Last year Singapore-based ONE Championship overhauled the way its athletes weigh in, banning weight-cutting by dehydration and instituting a new set of regulations and policies governing the weigh-in procedures and contracted weight limits.
According to Jeff Novitzky, UFC’s vice president of athlete health & performance, CSAC adopted this new format in an effort to enhance wellness for all athletes.
“It’s 100% for the health and safety of the athletes,” Novitzky said.
“We’re getting away from the days of severe dehydration in those hours leading up to a weigh-in, but there’s always going to be just a couple of pounds of water loss and some mild dehydration. That being the case, the ability to do the weigh-in at 10 in the morning versus waiting and doing it at 4 p.m. minimizes that time that athletes are mildly dehydrated.
“On the other side of things, it also gives them an extra six hours to ensure that they are properly hydrated leading up to the fight and that they have proper nutrition back in their body.”
Everything about the California changes are designed to benefit the athletes, Novitzky said.
“In paper and in theory, it looks to be all positive for health and safety. The feedback we’ve gotten from athletes this week is 100 percent thrilled about it, they love it,” he said.
UFC president Dana White echoed those comments during the UFC 199 pre-fight press conference.
“Obviously, we’re 100% supportive of it.” White said.
“We’re behind this thing and it’s going to be like a trial run to see how this works. I think it’s exciting for the (athletes) – they get to weigh in at 10 o’clock in the morning instead of sitting around all day until 4 (p.m.). We’re going to try it and see how it works out.
“No system is perfect. There are going to be flaws in everything. But we’re going to give this a shot.”