Each fighter has their own tried and tested techniques to achieve their target weight as weight cutting is a vital part of professional MMA. On weighing day, fighters are expected to hit their weight division to a T and not a decimal above it. Then when fight day comes, they’ve probably gained around 10-30% of their weight back.
Their massive transformations before and after fights continue to baffle many. Regular people struggle to cut weight but for fighters, it seems like it’s second nature for them. Their weight-cutting routines are far from easy and there have been many instances that fighters were unable to fight because of the damage they do to their bodies.
How do MMA fighters cut weight and how can they do it so effectively?
How Do MMA Fighters Cut Weight?
First off, MMA fighters don’t usually begin weight cutting until they are a week or two away from the fight. Weight cutting means they’ll have to cut down on food and this isn’t ideal as training camp is physically demanding and they need the food to keep up with their energy.
During their training camp, they might avoid fatty foods just to prevent their weight from blowing up. As they train hard, they are able to shed a few pounds as well.
The goal of fighters when cutting weight for a fight isn’t to reduce the fat in their body. It’s to get out as much of the fluids in their body as possible. This is called dehydration and it can be done in many ways. Now, how do MMA fighters cut weight?
The most common technique that fighters use is that they drink insane amounts of water in the weeks leading up to the fight.
Aside from making them feel full, the excess water allows their body to flush out more of the liquids when they sweat. In the week leading up to the fight, they’ll shed as much of the water weight as possible.
Fighters usually jog, bike, or do circuit training while wearing sweatsuits. The sweatsuits keep the heat in thus allowing their body to sweat more profusely. This also helps them burn calories at a much quicker rate.
They also step into the sauna for hours before the weigh-ins. The sauna will remove most of the fluids in their body.
In extreme cases, fighters also take laxatives, urinate as much as possible, and even spit as much as possible to lose as many fluids as possible.
The process is hard and very taxing. It’s highly suggested that you do this with the help of a professional as dehydration without proper guidance can lead to organ damage and even death.
Once fight day arrives, fighters rehydrate and they gain back all of the weight they’ve lost. If the other fighter didn’t do dehydration and they’re still the same weight during the fight, they’ll be at a disadvantage because of the weight discrepancy.
How Much Do MMA Fighters Cut In A Day?
During training camp, fighters don’t usually lose weight on a daily basis. They’re going to need this extra weight to keep their energy while training.
Once the fight draws near, this is where things can go to the extreme. At most, fighters can cut around 1-2 pounds a day during a week before the fight. During fight week and a day before the weigh-ins, they can lose around 10-20 pounds in a day which is amazing.
Do UFC Fighters Take Laxatives To Cut Weight?
The short answer is yes, they do. However, this is only done in extreme cases as it is very risky.
Even if fighters do manage to shed a few pounds through laxatives, they put themselves at risk of not feeling too well during the fight itself.
How Much Weight Do MMA Fighters Usually Cut?
To answer this question, you need to understand that fighters have two types of weight. Their fight weight and their walking weight.
Fight weight is their intended weight to fight in the division they are in. Walking weight is what they weigh during training camp and on a regular day.
Fighters usually cut around 20-30 pounds from their weight when they fight. However, this can vary from fighter to fighter.
This piece answers how do MMA fighters cut weight. It’s a very intensive part of fighting and it’s just as important as well. There’s a reason why it’s best handled with the help of professionals.