After the largely popular early weigh ins conducted in California at UFC 199 MMAFighting.com’s Marc Raimondi, who has been perhaps the most consistent reporter addressing rapid extreme weight cut issues in the sport, advises that the same protocols will be used for UFC Fight Night 89 this week in Ottawa, Canada.
Fighters will be able to weigh-in at the fighter hotel Friday morning between 9 a.m. and noon, rather than the typical 4 p.m. weigh-in time, Sholler said. There will still be a “weigh-in” show at 5 p.m. where the official weights gathered earlier in the day will be announced.
The new policy was first attempted by the UFC at UFC 199 in Los Angeles two weeks ago. Fighters were able to weigh-in between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the fighter hotel. The idea, developed by doctors, is to give the athletes more time to rehydrate after their weight cut. A byproduct is now fighters will be dehydrated for a shorter amount of time — and going without food and water for a shorter amount of time — rather than waiting hours to be transported to the venue and for the weigh-in show to begin.
Whenever regulators change practices I like to look behind to the legislative landscape permitting this to take place. Fortunately for Ontario, no legal changes were needed for this concession to the UFC as the rules grant some leeway and discretion to the Commissioner for conducting weigh ins.
All that is required under Ontario’s Athletics Control Act Regulation 52, Sectio 16 is that weigh ins for professional MMA bouts take place “on the day before the day of the contest or exhibition” with the Commissioner having the power to “designate the time and place of the weighing in“.
Not all jurisdictions have this flexibility and those that don’t should consider taking the steps needed to adopt this practice along with other weight cut reforms to ensure that MMA’s rapid extreme weight cut injury list stops its troubling growth.