Massachusetts State Athletic Commission Approves Double Weigh-In Provision

Boxing_headmap_mediumIn an interesting move that is much different than that of the weigh-in policies across the country, the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission has approved an initiative to hold double weigh-ins:

The Massachusetts "double weigh-in" provision calls for a fighter to be weighed in no more than 36 hours before his fight and again on the night of the fight. The fighter cannot weigh more than 1.0625 times his initial weight on the second weigh-in.

The formula means the higher the weight, the higher the allowable weight gain. For example, a fighter contracted to fight at 135 pounds can’t come in higher than 143.4375 pounds on fight night, 170 pounders cannot exceed 180.625, 205 pounders cannot exceed 217.8125 pounds, etc.

The provision was voted upon during an emergency vote as the commission's power to regulate combat sports in the state came into power on March 1st. Since the state had no regulations regarding mixed martial arts on the books, the vote was passed in an emergency session and will only be in place for ninety days. Within the period however, it's likely the state athletic commission will formulate a more permanent set of regulations.

While Marc Ratner, the UFC’s vice president of regulatory affairs, stated that it likely won't deter the UFC from visiting cities like Boston, he also noted that North Carolina has a similar rule in which fighters can't weight more than 13 pounds over their weight limit at fight time. The promotion will head to North Carolina for UFC Fight Night 21 at the end of March.

Many fighters within the promotion won't be affected, especially those within the confines of the WEC -- but fighters such as Thiago Alves, Georges St. Pierre, and a few other welterweights and heavyweights could be affected. At 170 pounds, a fighter is only allowed to gain around 10 pounds between the two weigh-ins. It's been rumored in the past that St. Pierre beefs back up to 185 after weigh-ins, and that type of gain would have to be stopped.

Brock Lesnar and any other large heavyweight cutting down to 265 will also have some problems as the maximum weight allowed is 281 pounds. Reports have indicated that Lesnar has ballooned to 290 pounds, and Shane Carwin has even been quoted as stating he'd balloon to 290 pounds as well.

There are plenty of other fighters that fall into the same category, but will this actually be a problem for some of these fighters? It could, but it's more than likely not going to be an issue. Most of these fighters could simply gain the weight back, and only cut around 4-5 pounds in the sauna before the second weigh-in. Whether or not that would actually hinder their performance in the cage is another question.

The UFC could simply avoid stacking those cards with fighters they have knowledge will have problems with that sort of regulation, so it shouldn't be a real problem for that promotion. It'll be interesting to see if some of the bigger name fighters are left off those cards, and whether the commission will end up nixing the provision in order to gain those bigger names and revenues.

Update by Brent Brookhouse: I have a piece on this up on SB Nation.  In it I take a look at the very real, very scary potential health problems that are created by this double weigh-in.

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