Significant Weight Gain Among UFC Fighters Raises Concerns

Recently, it was revealed that seven fighters on the UFC 298 card experienced weight gain of 15% or more from weigh-in day to fight day. This significant increase in weight has raised concerns and prompted the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) to consider changes to its regulations regarding dehydration and rehydration. This issue is particularly worrisome as extreme weight cutting can have serious implications for the health and safety of fighters.

One of the most alarming cases of weight gain was that of Geoff Neal, who gained a staggering 18% of his weight, going from 170.5 to 200.8 pounds. This represents a 30.3-pound difference between weigh-in day and fight day. Such drastic fluctuations in weight can have a detrimental impact on a fighter’s performance and well-being. Neal’s opponent, Ian Garry, also experienced a significant weight gain of 6%.

Even the main event fighters, Alexander Volkanovski and Ilia Topuria, were not spared from the issue of excessive weight gain. Both fighters exceeded the 15% threshold, with Topuria weighing 167.2 pounds on fight day (16% increase) and Volkanovski weighing 166.2 pounds (15% increase). Topuria emerged victorious in the fight, claiming the UFC featherweight title.

In addition to the aforementioned fighters, Paulo Costa, Robert Whittaker, Carlos Vera, Merab Dvalishvili, and Danny Barlow were also flagged for weight gain of 15% or more. Costa, who fought Whittaker in the middleweight co-main event, weighed 215.2 pounds on fight day, representing a 16% increase from his weigh-in weight. Whittaker, on the other hand, saw a 12% increase in weight, weighing 207.6 pounds on fight day.

The issue of excessive weight gain among UFC fighters is a cause for concern and highlights the need for stricter regulations in place to prevent extreme weight cutting. By addressing the issue of dehydration and rehydration, the CSAC aims to safeguard the health and well-being of fighters and ensure a fair playing field. It is imperative that fighters prioritize their health and safety above all else, even if it means making sacrifices in terms of weight cutting practices.


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