ONE Championship announced today it will ban weight-cutting by its fighters by dehydration and instead introduce new regulations focused on the “walking-weight.”
This will mean multiple-weigh ins and tests before and during fight week, including three hours before an event begins.
The announcement comes approximately two weeks after ONE Championship flyweight Yang Jian Bing passed away at 21-years-old, primarily due to weight-cutting issues.
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According to the company, fighters “will now compete at their “walking-weight”, which will be determined by a robust system that will track his/her weight on a regular basis throughout the period that the athlete is contracted to ONE.”
Full details of the program can be found at ONE’s website.
“Today I’m proud to have been involved with developing the new weigh-in program for ONE athletes,” ONE Championship VP Rich Franklin said. “As a former MMA champion, I’ve been through the process of weight-cutting by dehydration countless times and I know first-hand how it affects an athlete physically. I personally understand the importance of safety and competing at your very best as a professional MMA athlete and after reviewing the new regulations and policies governing the weigh-in procedures and contracted weight limits, this new program does both for our athletes.”
“By banning weight cutting by dehydration, we are leading the way globally for enhanced safety standards for professional MMA athletes, ” ONE CEO Victor Cui added. “We believe that through the implementation of this new weigh-in program, our fighters will enjoy a safer and healthier life inside and outside of the cage. I invite the other two major global MMA organizations, Bellator and UFC, to follow in our footsteps to protect athletes and to eliminate the process of weight cutting by dehydration.”
The new regulations are the product of recommendations by their medical and competition team. It is scheduled to begin in January of 2016.
“The safety of our athletes is the top priority of ONE,” VP of Operations and Competition Matt Hume said. “After bringing in top medical officials from both the USA and Asia, we believe we have put together the best possible weigh-in program in combat sports. This program will revolutionize the way weigh-ins are conducted around the world and we look forward to the positive outcome it will have on safety standards related to weight-cutting globally.”