A new rule voted on by the California Athletic Commission will all the commission rights to cancel a fight if a competitor is over 15 percent the contracted weight.
A new rule has been passed by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) which is meant to take a step in the right direction towards ending extreme weight cutting in combat sports.
The new rule, which was discussed and voted on in Tuesday’s CSAC meeting, states that a fight will be automatically canceled if a fighter gains more than 15 percent of the contracted weight on fight day. This joins the previous rule stating anything over 10 percent could result in the fighter being forced to compete in another weight class.
The new rule was passed unanimously.
The 10 percent rule was recently enforced when Aspen Ladd came in over on fight day following her scary UFC Sacramento weigh-in. She was told she would need a doctor’s clearance to compete in her weight division again, or more up.
“To me, that’s a health and safety issue,” said Andy Foster CSAC executive officer during the meeting. “It’s sanctioned cheating.”
According to ESPN, CSAC’s data shows that 28 MMA fights from Jan. 2019 through Oct. 2019 had fighters weigh more than 15 percent above the contracted weight class. There were 285 fights during this time.
Bellator 229 which took place in Southern California had one fighter at the 15 percent mark for their bout. Leandro Higo, who defeated Shawn Bunch, weighed in at 136 pounds then 156.8 on fight day. Another big name on the Bellator 229 card was Daniel Weichel who weighed in at 144.2 then again at 165.5 for his Featherweight Bellator Grand Prix win over Saul Rogers. According to the new rule, both fights would have been canceled.
“This is a fixable issue,” Foster said. “Pretending like we’re bound to these weight classes like they’re set in stone and fighters can’t move up, frankly it’s not healthy.”
The next UFC event in California has yet to be announced.