Saturday, March 17, 2018

Mixed martial arts has a deadly problem with the culture of extreme weight cutting. One source of the problem at the elite level is an inadequate number of weight divisions. The UFC started with just one division for women, 135. Then it added 115, with the idea that anyone at 145 could drop to 135, and anyone at 125 could drop or move up. And anyone at 105 could out on a little size and move up. Thus with just two divisions, the theory went, the vast majority of female fighters could be covered.

However, Cris Cyborg nearly killed herself dropping, and many other fighters experienced serious issues, including former strawweight Paige VanZant, who recently moved up to the new flyweight division.

But PVZ did damage to herself.



“I was having different issues with myself and my body,” said PVZ recently, as transcribed by the BBC. “I was giving myself an eating disorder to make the weight.”

“I recently went up to the flyweight division which is 10 lbs heavier, which is a huge difference. … I was at a fight where a fellow UFC fighter, Uriah Hall, was cutting weight and he pushed himself just to the brink of death. He had kidney failure and started seizing in the hallway right in front of me.

“It’s because of that I’m like ‘I cant do this anymore.’

“In my last fight I broke my arm pretty bad and had to go and have a titanium plate and seven screws put in my forearm. I have broken my nose in one of my fights and got cut open pretty bad. It’s just something you accept as a part of it.

“The biggest concern for me is just getting the injury healed as soon as possible, so I can start training again.”

“I don’t think anybody loves getting hit in the face, but I guess I love punching people. For me it’s not even violence, it’s one person’s skill over another.”