Cutting weight is a big part of grappling and fighting sports. I like any system that forces an athlete to fight at the lowest weight they can be at while still being 100% in terms of energy, strength, and mental state without doing things like cutting water weight before a weigh-in and rehydrating right after.
Too often the weigh-ins become a fight in themselves. There is a mindset out there that if you’re in peak shape at 180 lbs, then obviously you need to cut down to 165 lbs. That’s only “obvious” because everyone does it. I think that a system can be put in place that strongly disincentivizes athletes from making such a cut. The ADCC this year has made me believe that such a system is possible and feasible, if not at the amateur level, then certainly for the pros.
Here’s what they did:
- First weigh-in is on Friday (the day before competition)
- Second weigh-in is right before the first match on Saturday
- If you make it that far, third weigh-in is right before the first match on Sunday
And the icing on the cake is that a referee can call for another weigh-in at any time. That means you can’t play games with water weight. Basically, you have to do your damn best to make a real 2-3 month cut by dieting, and step on the scale hydrated and ready to fight.
I know that some ADCC participants really liked this rule and some didn’t. I think the ones that didn’t have simply become weight-cutting experts and thus this new system takes away one of their strengths. But in the long term, I think it’s for the best. After all, we not only want to see the healthiest fighters out there, but also ones that have 100% fuel in the tank, ready to battle.