Alabama AC head calls on all regulators to address weight cutting

Sunday, June 24, 2018

“You’re going to be sitting there with a girlfriend, with parents, who lost their kid to something so stupid, for no apparent reason. What’s going to happen is you’re going to have a mother and a father losing their child over weight-cutting to fight – not in a fight.”
Mike Mazzulli, Association of Boxing Commissions president

The culture of extreme weight cutting is the most dangerous regulatory issue in mixed martial arts. Andy Foster, executive director of the California State Athletic Commission, created a 10 Point Plan to address the deadly problem. It works. The ABC medical committee supports it. The ABC has adopted it. The UFC supports it and will continue to adopt further parts of it.

Unfortunately, many state, tribal, provincial, and municipal athletic commissions have been lax in confronting the issue. And some have been highly responsible. The Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation and the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA) have adopted all or parts of the CSAC 10-point plan, and indeed some parts of the plan were already in play.

Add to that list the Alabama Athletic Commission under executive director Jody McCormick. McCormick tells Marc Raimondi for MMA Fighting that the AAC a package of weight-cutting reforms will go into effect August 5. Alabama’s changes will be on a smaller scale than California’s, which is appropriate, given the relative sizes of the two commissions.

Alabama is taking a number of crucial steps:
•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 ABC database, including the fighters that the commission has required to move up in weight class due to multiple misses;
•Adoption morning weigh-in as its official weigh-in;
•Additon of a fight-day weight check, and if a fighter is 10% above the contracted weight, fighter will be asked to move up a division going forward; and
•Dehydration will be checked by doctors during the official weigh-ins and the fight-day weight check.

“We understand that there are multiple measures proposed to address the issue of drastic weight cutting in combative sports,” said McCormick. “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.”