The Kansas Athletic Commission and Bellator MMA are doing their part to combat dangerous weight cutting in mixed martial arts ahead of Bellator 150.
Fighters at Friday’s event at Kansas City Star Casino in Mulvane, Kansas, will have two options to record their weight, Bellator explained in a press release. In addition to the traditional weigh-in held in front of fans and media Thursday evening at 5 p.m. Central Time, fighters can also register their official weight any time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m Thursday at the fighter’s hotel.
The press release says the plan was “set in motion months ago” in an effort to make the weight-cutting process safer for the fighters by giving them more time to rehydrate.
“The health and safety of our fighters is of the utmost importance to us at Bellator MMA,” said Bellator president Scott Coker in the release. “When we were told by the commission months ago that this was something they wanted to implement at our event, we were all for it.”
On Thursday, fighters will first have the chance to test their weight on the official scale. If they are satisfied, they can declare they are ready to officially weigh in. The fighter’s opponent will be notified and given 10 minutes to report if they choose to witness the weigh in. If a fighter doesn’t make weight after declaring, they will have two hours to re-weigh for a final official weight. If a fighter does not choose to weigh in by 2 p.m., they must wait until the regular weigh-in time. All fighters will still appear on the scale during the traditional weigh-in with their official weights announced, regardless of when they actually stepped on the scale.
The dangers of weight cutting have long been known throughout MMA but were brought back into the spotlight last week at Bellator 149. After cutting 40 pounds to make the 265-pound heavyweight limit, Dada 5000 was hospitalized with renal failure following his third-round loss to Kimbo Slice.
“After fleshing everything out, we decided this is the first step in trying to change the culture of extreme weight cutting,” said Adam Roorbach, Kansas Boxing Commissioner in the release.
Bellator 150 features a bantamweight title fight between champion Marcos Galvao, who trains at Long Island MMA in Farmingdale, and challenger Eduardo Dantas. In the co-main event, former UFC heavyweight Cheick Kongo faces Vinicius Querioz.