Now he is being com­pared to Khabib, whose kid­neys failed before the fight with Fer­gu­son.

Last Sun­day at the UFC tour­na­ment there was a fight between not the very top oppo­nents — Cody Dur­den and Jake Hadley. The fight went the full dis­tance and end­ed with Dur­den win­ning by unan­i­mous deci­sion.

Why did Hadley lose the fight?

After the fight, Hadley, who was con­sid­ered the favorite, admit­ted that he expe­ri­enced seri­ous prob­lems in the prepa­ra­tion process:

“Lost a fight, a few things went wrong, I almost died dur­ing a weight cut, I saw God for a sec­ond. I was unable to recov­er and felt that it great­ly affect­ed my per­for­mance. Any­one who knows me will con­firm that I nev­er run out of steam that quick­ly.”

Weight cut­ting in MMA is a com­plex process: fight­ers lose up to 20 kilo­grams before a fight (some even more), com­ing to the weigh-in dehy­drat­ed. They dry out and flush out all the water from the body, and after the weigh-in they gain kilo­grams, enter­ing the fight notice­ably heav­ier (up to 10+ kg).

Hadley com­petes in the fly­weight divi­sion, where the weight lim­it is 57 kg. Often ban­tamweight fight­ers come here who want to be larg­er than their oppo­nents.

For exam­ple, this is what for­mer UFC cham­pi­on TJ Dil­lashaw did, who pulled off one of the cra­zi­est weight cuts in the his­to­ry of the pro­mo­tion when he decid­ed to fight Hen­ry Ceju­do. Things did­n’t go accord­ing to plan, and TJ was knocked out in the first round.

“I over­es­ti­mat­ed myself. I was sure that I could eas­i­ly lose weight, because it was quite easy for me in the ban­tamweight divi­sion. I start­ed to abuse my body. After six weeks, I began to break down, get tired, and could not get up for train­ing.

Doc­tors checked every­thing on me, thou­sands of tests. My body even­tu­al­ly broke down and I start­ed tak­ing an ille­gal drug. But I didn’t use it to improve my skills, just to sur­vive,” Dil­lashaw recalled.

Why are weight lifters dangerous?

Weight loss is, first of all, a process of dehy­dra­tion of the body. The task of a fight­er in a train­ing camp is not only to pre­pare for an oppo­nent, but also to shed extra pounds. This is a seri­ous stress for the body, which tests the char­ac­ter and dis­ci­pline of the ath­lete.

But some­times even this is not enough, and fight­ers end up in the hos­pi­tal, unable to with­stand the weight loss. After all, their health is test­ed for strength — from the diges­tive to the car­dio­vas­cu­lar sys­tem. Blood pres­sure drops, neu­ronal con­nec­tions are weak­ened, and ben­e­fi­cial microele­ments are washed out along with sweat.

Fight­ers take a con­scious risk by lift­ing a lot of weight, which can have seri­ous health con­se­quences. They come to the weigh-in exhaust­ed, some­times they can­not move with­out the help of their team, and some fall uncon­scious.

There are many such exam­ples, and each time they pro­voke talk that the weigh­ing sys­tem in MMA needs to be changed. For exam­ple, weigh-in imme­di­ate­ly before the fight, and not the day before — so that the par­tic­i­pants do not have time to gain weight.

Khabib Nur­magome­dov is a great cham­pi­on who has lift­ed a lot of weight. He was once hos­pi­tal­ized before anoth­er attempt to fight Tony Fer­gu­son. The Russ­ian fight­er’s kid­neys failed, and, as it turned out, these were the con­se­quences of heavy weight cut­ting.

Find out more about how MMA fight­ers cut weight in our mate­r­i­al.