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The Art of Cutting Weight in Combat Sports ⚖️ Why & How Fighters Cut Weight

The Art of Cutting Weight in Combat Sports ⚖️ Why & How Fighters Cut Weight

As a fighter, one of the most challenging aspects of preparing for a fight is cutting weight.

ripped man muscles water cutting for boxing fight

While some fighters might view it as an inconvenience, cutting weight is an essential part of combat sports and can be crucial for the success of the fighter.

So, why do fighters cut weight before a fight? And how do they do it? Let's explore!

Why Do Fighters Cut Weight?


scales for boxing fight weight in weight loss cutting weight

The most obvious reason for fighters to cut weight is to make the weight class they are fighting in.

Each combat sport has different weight divisions, and fighters must weigh-in before a fight to ensure they meet the requirements for their respective weight class.

Cutting weight is necessary for fighters who walk around heavier than their desired weight class. By losing a significant amount of weight before the fight, they can drop down to the weight class they want to compete in.

womens mma fighting in cage punching striking

Another reason why fighters cut weight is to gain a competitive advantage.

Cutting weight can help fighters increase their strength, speed, and agility, which can give them an edge over their opponents. Moreover, fighters who cut weight correctly can improve their endurance and reduce fatigue during a fight.

How Do Fighters Cut Weight?


man running exhausted after workout

Cutting weight is a challenging and complex process that requires discipline, dedication, and a solid game plan & should only ever be done with professional support.

There are several methods that fighters use to cut weight before a fight, and the most common include:

Dieting to Cut Weight:

healthy fighting food meals made up for boxing mma kickboxing
Fighters will adjust their diets to reduce their caloric intake and eliminate foods that cause bloating or water retention.

They may also incorporate supplements to help boost their metabolism and energy levels.

Sauna or Steam Room:

sauna steam room for fighters to cut weight before a fight
Sitting in a sauna or steam room can help fighters lose water weight quickly.

They will typically spend 15-30 minutes in the sauna, then take a break, and repeat the process until they reach their desired weight.

Cardiovascular Exercises:

Fighters will engage in cardio exercises such as running, cycling, or jumping rope to burn calories and lose weight.

Cutting Weight by Water Loading and Dehydration:

fitness man drinking water

Fighters will drink a lot of water a week or two before the fight to help flush out their system, then cut water intake drastically in the last few days to dehydrate their body and lose weight quickly.


It's essential to note that cutting weight can be extremely dangerous if not done correctly.

sports doctor for boxing mma kickboxing fitness

Fighters must work with their coaches, nutritionists, and doctors to develop a safe and effective plan that doesn't compromise their health. Never do this alone.

fit mma fighter in cage with muscles posing

Cutting weight is an integral part of combat sports and is necessary for fighters to compete at their desired weight class and gain a competitive edge.

While it's a challenging process, fighters who approach it correctly can reap significant benefits.

So, the next time you watch a fight, remember that the fighter you are rooting for might have gone through an intense weight-cutting process to get there!

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