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Nick Lembo talks weigh ins following death of Brazilian fighter

Nick Lembo, counsel to the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, debunks reports that the NJSACB has changed its weigh-in rules for MMA fighters and talks about changes under consideration and changes that are out of the question.

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

In the aftermath of the tragic death of 26-year-old Brazilian fighter Leandro Souza, Inside MMA reported that the the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board (NJSACB) was proposing to amend their policy for additional weigh ins to require fighters weigh-in 30 days out, seven days out, and finally the day before a fight to ensure a safe cut.

Nick Lembo, counsel to the NJSACB spoke to Matt Roth of MMA Mania and clarified that the NJSACB is NOT implementing new rules:

"It was actually a World Boxing Council (WBC) policy for championship boxing matches. And it's something that New Jersey did in conjunction with them and still does for championship title matches. And what it is, is 30 days out, a fighter has to be within 10% of the contracted weight. 7 days out, the fighter is 5% of the contracted weight," he told "And then you have your typical day before weigh in, where you have a one pound allowance, other than for championship fights.

"So the question was posed to me: what can be done to stop the dangerous, rampant weight cutting in MMA? And I said that that's something to consider. Something under contemplation, but we have not changed our rules, yet. And I'm not sure if or when we would do so. At this point we have a pretty comprehensive pre-fight physical and also all the fighters are urine tested, not only for drugs, but from the urine you can also find out dehydration levels."

"But I will say this for a fact. We are not in favor of the rules where you have a second weigh in. Like for example, I believe the IBF (International Boxing Federation) and it was contemplated by Massachusetts for a time, where you have a weigh in -- a standard one day weigh in and then you re-weigh in the fighters the next day. And limit their percentage. That I'm not in favor of, even though it has been discussed."

It's somewhat reassuring to know that Lembo is putting serious thought into possible ways to improve fighter safety around weight cutting but don't expect immediate action.

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