The culture of extreme weight cutting in mixed martial arts has killed multiple athletes and caused serious injury to countless fighters. And the medical issues are not just limited to male fighters. Paige VanZant appeared recently on Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour, and explained why she is moving up the UFC's new women's flyweight division.
“People don’t realize how heavy I walk around," she said, as transcribed by Adam Guillen Jr. for MMA Mania. "My last three fights, I’m cutting from 137 to 115. It’s a big cut for me. I am a lot heavier than people realize.”
“I was honestly killing myself for this sport in my last two fights. My last two or three fights I passed out in my bathroom. In my last fight, I passed out and I had the doctors almost not clear me for the fight. They saw me on the floor and had to call Uriah to come save me.”
“It was just perfect timing and they have The Ultimate Fighter coming out, the 125 division is finally getting built. It just made more sense for me to try it out."
“I am moving up and I am a big advocate for body positivity and I was putting myself through an eating disorder to make weight. It became not fun for me anymore, I hated cutting weight, hated the process. Passing out in your bathroom floor is not fun because you're dying in your bathtub. It just made sense, I need to try it out, I need to move up and I want to love what I do. The weight cut made it so where I hated this and now I am back to loving it.”
VanZant will make her flyweight debut at UFC 216 on October 7 vs. Jessica Eye.