Cris Cyborg supports ‘life-saving’ Foster weight cutting reform

Thursday, May 18, 2017

California State Athletic Commission Executive Director Andy Foster has a 10-point plan to end the culture of extreme weight-cutting in mixed martial arts. Some of the changes are major, like the addition of weight classes at 165, 175, 195 and 225 pounds.

On Tuesday the commission approved the plan and it will be in effect by UFC 214, which takes place on July 29 in Anaheim, Calif. At the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC) annual conference in July, it will be voted on by the membership, with approval from the medical committee.

Cris Cyborg Justino sent a letter in support of the plan, a copy of which was obtained by Marc Raimondi for MMA Fighting.

I am here today to show support for Andy Foster and the life saving changes the California Boxing Commission are putting into place today. As many of you know my biggest fight over the past few years hasn’t been in the ring or cage, but inside the bath, sauna, and on the treadmill.

While some fighters have been cutting a lot of weight in an attempt to gain an advantage over the person they are fighting, my last 2 fights have been at 140 lbs for different reasons.

Until recently the UFC has only had 2 weight classes for female athletes to compete in. 115 pound and 135lbs. While my natural class of 145lbs was not in the UFC, I was only given the opportunity to compete in the promotion if I was willing to sacrifice my body to make the lowest possible weight by using a method called “Weight Cutting” where I am severely dehydrating my body.

For years I petitioned to have not only my weight class but others introduced that will allow fighters to safely make competition weight. Even Though boxing teaching us that their are women heavier than 135lbs, with Champions like Laila Ali, Lucia Riker [sic] I was told there weren’t girls at my weight to fight.

It is amazing to see the California boxing commission support the fighters and help take the first step in protecting the fighters from themselves. With the decisions today, promoters are going to have to introduce additional weight classes. The further monitoring being done by the California Athletic Commission will go a long way to make sure fighters are no longer making un safe weight cuts that put their life in danger.

July 29th I will be fighting at UFC 214 in Anaheim and I am excited to help showcase the new rules and the safety net it is forcing the promoters to create of the fighters. I am hoping to be able to compete within the guidelines laid out today, and am glad to see the UFC already announce the addition of a 125lbs weight class for women.

It is my hope that the changes do not stop today. There are still many acts that need to be put in place to protect both the fighters and the sport but today is a great step in the right direction.

The fighter has suffered terrible weight cuts, which have been the subject of several viral videos.

The last cut damaged Cyborg’s endocrine system and she was taking doctor-prescribed drugs to restore her body to normal; as a result, an anti-doping test was flagged. The fighter was eventually given a Therapeutic Use Exemption. In sum, Cris Cyborg understands the dangers of extreme weight cutting. When she calls Foster’s plan “life-saving” she means that not metaphorically, like someone babysitting your kid when you unexpectedly called to work. She means it actually, like if the plan is not adopted, more people will die.