We’ve all had o face weight cuts that were more or less grueling at some point. The biggest difference between MMA and BJJ being the amount of time you had to recover from it – grapplers famously step on the mats right after the weigh ins while in mma weigh ins are usually done a day before.
Recently an MMA fighter was barely standing during weigh ins – and yet his promotion still let him enter the cage and fight.
Recent study was published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research noting that even 24 hours after rapid dehydration and athletes performance is impacted.
The study is called Repeat Effort Performance is Reduced 24 h Following Acute Dehydration in Mixed Martial Arts Athletes, and it was done by a group of scientists who were aiming to measure the effects of a 5% weight cut.
14 MMA athletes used various rapid extreme weight cut techniques to induce 5% dehydration. After achieving the dehydrated state the athletes were allowed to re-hydrate. Following this a series of physical exercises were performed at 3 hours and 24 hours following the dehydrated state. The authors found that the athletes had reduced athletic performance even 24 hours out.
Of course 5% is really moderate – most fighters in the UFC regularly cut more than that and odds are even an average grappler has cut more than 5% at some point over their career.
It seems that this study re-affirms that first and foremost it’s the most important to fine tune your metabolism and to actually lose weight as opposed to cutting it.