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How the introduction of CSAC’s 10-point weight cutting plan could affect the UFC

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With the dangers of concussions, cuts and broken limbs being part and parcel to those competing in mixed martial arts, the damage done to a combat athlete throughout their career can be seriously debilitating. Tales of fighters carpooling to the emergency room are just the beginning of the compliant nature that fighters have with their inflicted injuries and it’s apparent that those willing to make the walk to the cage are aware that they’re going to wrack up some trauma along the way.

Yet when it comes to perhaps the largest threat to the long-term health of a fighter – one which comes before the contest has even begun – many fighters are participating in a form of self-harm.

The long-standing tradition within MMA of draining one’s body of all water weight in order to reach a weight limit has claimed scheduled fight after scheduled fight throughout the 23-year history of MMA and the unsafe practice has even gone to the extremes of taking fighters lives. The hazardous custom has been covered in depth with documentary after documentary but still, there has been little done to combat the obvious suffering that fighters put themselves through.

That is until earlier this week.

Andy Foster, the executive officer of the Californian State Athletic Commission (CSAC), announced his intention to help quash the outdated approach to cutting weight with the proposal of an ambitious 10-point plan. The attempted reform still has a way to go before implementation and will ultimately be voted upon on May 16th, but the 10-points of provisions include the following changes:

  • Fighters must license their lowest intended weight class
  • A change to contracts that ensure a 20% compensation to the opponent of a fighter who misses weight
  • Matchmakers will list weight of fighters when a bout is signed
  • Fighters who miss weight more than once must be forced to move up a division
  • A continuation of ‘early’ weigh-ins to allow maximum time for rehydration
  • Day of event weigh-ins to ensure fighters haven’t gained more than 8% of their body weight
  • Dehydration checks at weigh-ins and on fight-day
  • Weight checks in the lead-up to a scheduled bout
  • Matchmaker and promoter education regarding weight cutting in relation to offering bouts
  • New weight classes at a 10 lbs interval

Foster’s proposed reform will provide a safer future for fighters as they inevitably cut weight but the biggest effect on the promotions in MMA will undoubtedly be one which would see four new weight classes added to the fold.

Included in the proposal is the suggestion of a 10 lbs interval throughout the lower weight classes until reaching the heavier divisions and that change could drastically alter the look of the UFC’s two deepest divisions.  With the introduction of a 165 lbs division and 170 lbs becoming 175 lbs, a new ‘light-welterweight’ division could see a new home for those who have made the 15 lbs jump in either direction and that new weight class would most likely fall in line with the new WME-IMG business plan.

A bump in interim title fights, super-fights and the creation of a seemingly shelved women’s featherweight division for the sole reason that UFC 208 could have a title fight main event have seen the UFC’s new owners seek out marquee bouts in a bid to recoup their £4bn outlay. The CSAC proposal change would no doubt boost the UFC’s new approach and a light-welterweight division would unquestionably be the most agreeable with lightweight and welterweight being the largest under their banner.

So what could a UFC light-welterweight division look like?

[Fighters have been moved on a combination of previously failed weight cuts (Nurmagomedov), intentions or history of jumping weight classes (Dos Anjos), height (Vick), previously competing within a light-welterweight division (Means) while elevations to ranked positions are simply personal preference (Duffy)]

By taking a little from column A and a little from column B, light-welterweight would breath new life into the promotion’s most stacked talent pool and an exciting top 15 would clear the path for less weight cutting by fighters, unexplored fight possibilities, increased fighter pay and most importantly for the UFC more title fights and more super-fights between divisions.

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Interviews

Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Announcement

Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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Announcement

*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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