“OK, just let me grab my calculator and I’ll be right back.”
When Massachusetts became the 42nd state to legalize MMA in December (paving the way for a hastily scheduled event at the TD Garden, clearly a long-time goal of Dana’s), they did it with a little bit of flare. Rather than just ensure that fighters are at the agreed-upon weight the day before the fight, the brand-new MSAC decided in March to institute a “double weigh-in” system:
The Massachusetts “double weigh-in” provision calls for a fighter to be weighed in no more than 36 hours before his fight and again on the night of the fight. The fighter cannot weigh more than 1.0625 times his initial weight on the second weigh-in.
The formula means the higher the weight, the higher the allowable weight gain. For example, a fighter contracted to fight at 135 pounds can’t come in higher than 143.4375 pounds on fight night, 170 pounders cannot exceed 180.625, 205 pounders cannot exceed 217.8125 pounds, etc.
The provision was passed by an emergency vote and set to expire after 90 days (June 1), during which they would consult more experts and work to craft more permanent regulations. One of the experts consulted by the MSAC was Boston’s own Kenny Florian, and he had this to say (via Ben Fowlkes):
“I told them that the mentality of a fighter is to always try and make the weight. You could have the weigh-ins the same day, and a fighter will always try to get down to his lowest weight. That’s just the reality of it. And really, to limit someone in terms of how much they get to re-hydrate after making the cut, I think that’s more dangerous than having a weight advantage. The truth is, fighters won’t get as much fluid in them and won’t get the right foods if they have to weigh-in the next day. I think that’s asking for trouble.” …
As for Florian, he laughed off the suggestion that he might have been tempted to support the double weigh-ins in order to ensure that he didn’t give up too great a size advantage to fellow lightweight contender Gray Maynard, who he’ll be facing on the August 28 fight card.
“I’m sure he has a weight advantage,” said Florian. “Gray’s one of the largest 155-pounders in the world. But to me, I don’t think it’s a big deal. I fought as heavy as 185 when I was much smaller than I am now. I wasn’t even close to 180 pounds. I don’t think it’s the weight that gives you the advantage so much as the skill.”
It’s a goofy ass system and I hope something more sane (i.e. what virtually every other athletic commission on Earth does) is in place in time for The Most Awesome Lightweight Fight Card/4-Man Tournament In History.