George Lockhart appeared on the Three Amigos Podcast to discuss weight-cutting issues in MMA where he weighed in on Dana White’s plans to move weigh-ins back to the afternoon. Lockhart’s team works with many of the biggest names in MMA and counts around 100 UFC fighters as clients, so he is uniquely positioned to understand the impact moving back to early morning weigh-ins has had on fighters.
I love the extra time that they give us to rehydrate. On Dana’s side, I see the numbers [of fighters missing weight going up] and as a businessman, that’s what he’s looking at. I understand where he’s coming from.
Unfortunately, I think that a lot of people haven’t understood how to change when they start cutting to make weight in the morning. They’re still trying to do the cut in the same way they did when the weigh-ins were at 4pm, and the change jacked them up. I think the best thing is to get professional help, and make sure they’re cutting at the right times and going to bed at the right times.
We have guys start cutting earlier, and prep for the cut earlier. You have to make sure you stick to that timeline and everything will be okay, and now you get extra time to rehydrate. Earlier weigh-ins are better for the fighters, but again, just looking at the numbers, I see where Dana is coming from.
Dana seems to think that the morning is the problem, and for some guys it might be. What do you think about going to 4 PM on Thursday instead. Would you be in favor of that?
Yeah, that would obviously be great for me, giving fighters that extra time [to rehydrate]. Every solution comes with its own problems, and the one thing that we started finding out, is that having the weigh-ins at 4 PM on Friday stopped fighters from over-indulging after weigh-ins. Some fighters almost take pride in how much weight they can gain between weigh-ins and the fight, and think more is better.
I think now that we have the earlier weigh-ins, we really have to keep track of how much these athletes are eating between the weigh-in and the fight, so they don’t have spillage and overload the body to the point they get lethargic and heavy. A lot of guys get to Sunday and realize they’re lethargic and bloated.
If fighters handle the rehydration properly, the extra time gained from weighing in at 4 PM on Thursday would be great. The only thing we would have to watch out for is making sure guys don’t eat too much and overindulge afterwards.
To be clear, because a lot of people get this confused, you’re not talking about guys overdoing it by suddenly cutting another 10 or 15 lbs, or dropping a weight class; what you’re talking about is them literally just eating and drinking too much after they weigh in, right?
Yeah, absolutely. There’s no way they’re going to be able to cut an extra 10 or 15 lbs. Not going to happen.
With other sports, when you move the weigh-ins back, guys start cutting more weight. The difference in MMA is that most fighters are already pretty close to the most they can physically cut. They’re actually close to the physical limit, they literally can’t go down another weight class because their body is not capable of cutting down, regardless of how much time they had to rehydrate, right?
Yes, exactly. These guys are cutting the most that they can. Now it’s just about rehydration.
George’s interview begins at the 54:48 mark.