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Like many active and retired fighters, UFC Hall of Famer Michael Bisping knows there are dangers in today’s weight-cutting practices in MMA.
Bisping, the former UFC middleweight champion and current UFC color commentator, would like to see changes in the way fighters are managing their weight in order to meet their division’s limits.
Over the years, there have been many scares involving fighters experiencing health issues trying to cut weight. Most recently, back in March,trying to make bantamweight before UFC on ESPN 21 – 136 pounds for non-championship bouts. Although Stoliarenko registered 135.5 pounds, the Nevada Athletic Commission canceled her bout against Julia Avila for precautionary reasons.
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“It’s not the UFC’s fault. Fighters are contracted to be at a certain weight, and however they get to that weight, the UFC is not responsible for that,” Michael Bisping recently told MMA Junkie. “I just wish there was talk of it a while ago about you had to be a certain weight like 15 percent away from your weight or something like that. I’d like to see that properly enforced and even same-day weigh-ins, but again, the problem with that is that you’re going to have people cutting weight the same day and getting into the octagon, and that’s going to give you a higher risk of brain damage and brain trauma.”
Bisping knows there isn’t an easy solution to weight cutting but wants to see something done, as the same issues surrounding the sport have persisted for many years with seemingly no end in sight.
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Bisping, who competed at light heavyweight and middleweight, would like to see fighters move up a weight class and have the UFC add a cruiserweight division of 220 pounds, that way light heavyweights are not forced to compete with heavyweights.
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“I just wish everyone would move up a weight class and (the UFC) bring in a cruiserweight division,” Bisping explained. “The UFC have done a very good job of running an organization without me involved, but in my humble opinion, in boxing they have the cruiserweight – a 220 division.
“That way all the heavyweights can stay at heavyweight, light heavyweights move to cruiserweight, and then welterweights fight at middleweight, middleweights fight at light heavy, because that’s essentially what everyone does. I used to be a light heavyweight, but I started cutting weight and fighting at middleweight.”
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Bisping believes the current culture and practices used in the sport to cut weight go against what MMA should be about – fighting. Aside from the health issues, Bisping says weight cutting takes a bit of fighting away from the sport, as athletes are too focused on making weight and not their contest.
“It’s damaging to the fighter preparation because the camp becomes an obsession with making weight,” Bisping said. “And it shouldn’t be about that. It should be about training for your opponent. Your battle isn’t the scale.
“You also see people get tired in their fights from the weight cut, not everybody, but you see people slowing down in the third or second round. You can’t take punches as well. I know for a fact when I was cutting weight I couldn’t take a shot that well as I could at light heavyweight. If everyone just moved up a bit, but still it’s not that simple because there’s no one to monitor that. You (fighters) need to quit being pussies and fight at your normal weight class.”MORE:
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