Cutting weight has killed another combat sports athlete. Perth, Australia teen Jessica Lindsay collapsed on November 10 while on a run to cut weight for a Muay Thai event the next day. She was rushed to the hospital, but died four days later from the effects of severe dehydration.
Ms. Lindsay, 18, was an amateur, with just two years experience. Her Instagram referenced the cut.
“Fit and healthy,” she wrote on November 1. On November 8 she wrote, “Yeah nah cutting weight is sick hey." On November 10 she collapsed. And on November 14 she passed away.
“There is a point of no return, it is quite extreme and it goes beyond dehydration,” said Dr. Joe Kosterich to News 9. “It is what some would call heat exhaustion or heat shock. ... People may choose to ignore the warning signs because they're focused on what they're trying to achieve and it's an issue for amateurs - professionals will be coached, they will be monitored,” he said.
Ms. Lindsay is at least the second Muay Thai athlete to die this year while weight cutting. Scottish pro Jordan Coe died in Thailand while trying to make weight.
Cutting is now the worst thing in combat sports. Weight divisions were designed for safety, but in an attempt at making sure fighters of are of roughly equal weight, athletes are subject to a far greater danger than fighting a larger opponent.
In mixed martial arts, the dire issue has been ably addressed. Andy Foster, executive director of the California State Athletic Commission has put together a 10 Point Plan to fix the issue. 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.
It is now incumbent on commissions to implement it.
As for amateurs, weight cutting should cease.