Weight cutting has been a source of much contention in combat sports and was thrust into the spotlight after the tragic death of Yang Jian Bing in Manila last month.
Asia’s top MMA promotion ONE Championship has responded in a swift way, radically overhauling how its roster of fighters make weight.
The organisation will lead the global MMA industry by banning weight-cutting by dehydration and instituting a new set of regulations and policies governing the weigh-in procedures and contracted weight limits.
The program, believed to be the the first of its kind for combat sports, is focused on athlete safety by introducing “walking-weight” competition via multiple weigh-ins and tests before and during fight week, including three hours before an event begins.
OUR FIGHTERS WILL ENJOY A SAFER AND HEALTHIER LIFE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF THE CAGE.
Athletes will now compete at their “walking-weight”, which will be determined by a system to track a fighters weight on a regular basis, including random weight checks.
RELATED: MAKING THE CUT
“By banning weight cutting by dehydration, we are leading the way globally for enhanced safety standards for professional MMA athletes,” CEO of ONE Championship Victor Cui said.
“We believe that through the implementation of this new weigh-in program, our fighters will enjoy a safer and healthier life inside and outside of the cage.”
Cui challenged other major global MMA organisations including Bellator and UFC to follow in its footsteps to protect athletes and to eliminate the process of weight cutting by dehydration.
Rich Franklin, vice president of ONE Championship, said he had been through the process of weight-cutting by dehydration countless times and knows first-hand how it affects an athlete physically.
“I personally understand the importance of safety and competing at your very best as a professional MMA athlete and after reviewing the new regulations and policies governing the weigh-in procedures and contracted weight limits, this new program does both for our athletes.”
The new program will commence from January 2016 and will be applied to all athletes competing under the ONE banner.