Dangers of Weight Cutting in MMA

So, Big Yoel fails to make weight again for a title fight.

Pretty gutted for him to be honest, missing by 0.2lbs, he must have been tempted to remove an eyeball or something to lose the extra.

Hopefully the UFC will do something sooner, rather than later to stop all the weight cutting issues – which keep buggering up their pay per view cards.

Weight Cutting Dangers

Boxers have been weight cutting for decades – but MMA has taken the whole process to a new, dangerous level.

Dehydration leads to reduced blood volume – the heart compensates by increasing heart rate and blood vessels also constrict to increase blood pressure.

Blood flow is also reduced to several vital organs including the kidneys (reduced blood flow to organs is also known as “ischemia”). This reduced blood flow, in layman’s terms – can proper fuck the kidneys, right up.

If dehydration is severe, then the kidneys start to fail to do their main job – filtering of the blood, also known as glomerular filtration. This is not good – toxins build up in the kidneys.

There are several reasons why this happens – all pretty complicated though to be honest.

Rather strangely – the body starts to produce fructose

“The fructose is metabolized to fructose-1-phosphate, but in the process there is marked intracellular ATP consumption, leading to intracellular phosphate depletion, activation of AMP deaminase, and the generation of uric acid, oxidative stress, and the production of chemokines”


Chemokines are small protein molecules that are produced by the cells of the immune system. They cause the migration of immune cells to the kidneys so they can target and destroy invading bodies such as microbes. This causes all kind of problems with inflammation.

The take home message is – your kidneys start doing weird shit, and can eventually completely shut down.

Low Blood Volume & Shock

The reduced blood volume can also result in a condition called -Hypovolemic shock. This is also pretty nasty and can result in damage to major organs including the brain.

The reduced volume of water in the brain, is also going to be a bit of a shitter on fight night when your opponent is trying to knock your heed off.

Issues with electrolytes can also be present with weight cutting – resulting in seizures, blood clots and even coma.

In summary – don’t cut too much weight, it’s dangerous…be like Mark Hunt, he’s fat & awesome:

About Drew

MMA, Fitness & Marketing enthusiast from North Wales, UK. A Stoic Hippy with no hair. Not to boast but - 1st Class Degree in Sports Science from Loughborough, MSc in Nutrition from the University of Liverpool. 20 years experience of weight & fitness training.
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