One of the most dangerous aspects in mixed martial arts and other weight restricted sports is the practice of rapid extreme weight cuts whereby athletes try to make weight for their division through extreme measures resulting in well documented risks, injuries and even death.
In one of the more tragic results of such practices Marc Raimondi of ESPN reports that Titan FC Bantamweight World Champion Rudson Caliocane has suffered a brain stem ischemia resulting in left sided body paralysis after a bout last month in Brazil.
According to the article the injury arose as a consequence of a rapid extreme weight cut where Caliocane dropped over 15 pounds to make weight for the bout. Raimondi notes as follows:
Caliocane is now partially paralyzed on his left side, cannot walk without a limp and is having trouble speaking clearly, Davis said.
Davis said Caliocane’s neurologist informed him that the ischemia was a result of an extreme weight cut, not the actual fight, which Caliocane lost to Matheus Mendonca by unanimous decision. Davis said Caliocane cut more than 15 pounds in a single day to make weight for the bout, likely via severe dehydration.
Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting reports that Jorge Oliveira, the CEO for the promoter for the bout in question, Future MMA, will implement weight cut reforms for future bouts. Cruz reports as follows:
According to Oliveira, the promotion will impose changes in weight cutting procedures after the incident with Caliocane, adopting the model currently used by the California State Athletic Commission. An athlete that arrives too heavy for fight week will be fined or pulled from the card.
“The fighter is not the most important right not, but the human being Rudson Caliocane,” Oliveira stated. “I’m in touch with his father, trying to help with what I can. I was a fighter, I cut too much weight in a short period of time, I’ve been knocked out, I had concussions… I tried to pass along my experience to them.
“It’s sad to see a young talent, who loves what he does, have to interrupt his journey because of something like this. God willing — and I know Rudson is a faithful kid — this pause is temporary. But, again, the most important right now is the human being Rudson Caliocane.”
A GoFundMe has been launched hoping to raise funds to assist with Caliocane’s medical expenses.