During elite competition, especially at the highest stages of combat sports, it is not the actual fight that worries competitors but the weight cut ahead of it.
Fighters dehydrate themselves to unnatural states in order to shed their body of anything they deem to be unnecessary water weight. The point behind this is to allow a competitor to hit a certain weight limit in the quickest way possible. While some fighters have been able to scrutinize the process down to a science, it continues to have a clear impact on those who undertake it too often.
UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos is one of those fighters. While he continues to reign atop his division, the Brazilian fighter revealed that he will move up a weight class in a couple of years to move away from weight cutting.
"I just turned 31 and I have 31 fights as well. And I have plans to fight until maybe 37, 38, and I think what is really hard on the body is the weight cutting. And maybe like some years from now, maybe in a couple of years I want to do some fights at welterweight, just to have the extra 15 pounds."
"But that's my plans. I still got a lot of things to do in this division, but I have plans in the future to do some fights at welterweight."
To make matter more difficult, the United States Anti-Doping Agency has banned Intravenous therapy (IV) use as a method for recovery following a weight cut. The ban is believed to likely have a profound affect on the number of fighters willing to risk a drop down a weight class.
Dos Anjos, however, appears to have a solution in mind.
"I have a guy who is gonna - he was with me last time, and he always goes with me for my fights. And he said he has a perfect recipe to do the hydration back after weigh-in without the IV. So it's a new thing to try. And he said he has everything on point and that it's not gonna be a problem for us."