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Bahadurzada passed out weight cutting, hid it from coaches

Siyar Bahadurzada: “I couldn’t train well for three straight weeks, but I hid it from my coaches. They wouldn’t have let me fight if they knew I was in such big trouble."
Siyar Bahadurzada

UFC welterweight Siyar Bahadurzada had a tremendous showing at UFC Fight Night 128 on Saturday, knocking out Luan Chagas to earn his third straight win, and a $50,000 performance bonus. However, in yet another sign that the culture of extreme weight cutting in mixed martial arts is profoundly out of control, the Afghan fighter revealed post-fight that he passed out prior to weigh-ins, and kept the information from his coaches.

“I had difficulties coming into the fight,” said the fighter to Dann Stupp for and John Morgan for MMAjunkie. “I couldn’t train well for three straight weeks, but I hid it from my coaches. They wouldn’t have let me fight if they knew I was in such big trouble.

“My weight – I passed out in the sauna cutting weight. My body kind of refused to drop weight three weeks, four weeks out. But I overcame the obstacles, and I overcame the weight cut. I conquered myself, and overcoming my opponent was easier.”

“Obviously, I want to conquer this division. I may not have their skill. Everybody is very skilled. This is the killers’ division. But they will never outmatch me in will. I have, by far, the biggest will in this division. And when it comes to will, I will beat them all. I will break them all.”

One of the most prized qualities in fighting is gameness - a will to win greater even than the will to live. As he noted with pride, Bahadurzada is enormously game. That is exactly why the weight-cutting process needs to be regulated.

Andy Foster, executive director of the California State Athletic Commission, crafted a 10 Point Plan to fix the lethal 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. Progressive commissions like Mohegan under ABC president Mike Mazzulli and CABMMA under Cristiano Sampaio are adopting it; it is incumbent on all the commissions across North America to follow suit.

It is utterly irrational, at best, to push the body to the point of unconsciousness, prior to the most extreme physical exertion imaginable. And that it happens due to a safety factor like weight divisions is insanity.

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