This coming 2016, ONE Championship will be holding a total of 24 events and has officially released some announcements in line with a fighter’s death that happened recently.
Yan Jian Bing sadly passed away after trying to cut weight for a fight with Geje Eustaquio last ONE Championship 35. Almost two weeks after the MMA fighter’s death, the promotion released a new weigh-in program which prevents dehydration by weight-cutting. With this new program, MMA fighters will need to come in for the weigh-in a couple of times before and during fight week. This includes a weigh in three hours before their scheduled fight.
When this program gets implemented, ONE Championship MMA fighters would be forced to be in the division that are actually suited for them. Fighters will no longer need to do drastic weight cuts just to make the target weight as they will be competing at their ‘walking-weight’. This ‘walking weight’ will be determined by a system that will keep the athletes’ weight monitored regularly during their entire contract to ONE Championship.
Victor Cui, the CEO of ONE Championship, has officially released a statement.
“ONE Championship has paved the way for MMA in Asia and we have always been at the forefront of innovation for the sport. By banning weight cutting by dehydration, we are leading the way globally for enhanced safety standards for professional MMA athletes. We believe that through the implementation of this new weigh-in program, our fighters will enjoy a safer and healthier life inside and outside of the cage. I invite the other two major global MMA organizations, Bellator and UFC, to follow in our footsteps to protect athletes and to eliminate the process of weight cutting by dehydration,” he said.
Vice president of ONE Championship and former UFC middleweight champ, Rich Franklin, expressed his support with the new system.
“Today I’m proud to have been involved with developing the new weigh-in program for ONE athletes. As a former MMA champion, I’ve been through the process of weight-cutting by dehydration countless times and I know first-hand how it affects an athlete physically. I personally understand the importance of safety and competing at your very best as a professional MMA athlete and after reviewing the new regulations and policies governing the weigh-in procedures and contracted weight limits, this new program does both for our athletes,” Franklin said.
Joining Dr. Warren Wang, Richard Auty, Vaughn Anderson and Dr. James Okamoto in coming up with the program is ONE Championship vice president for operations and competition, Matt Hume. Hume thinks that in order to solve the problems of weigh-ins in combat sports, this is the best way to go.
“The safety of our athletes is the top priority of ONE. After bringing in top medical officials from both the USA and Asia, we believe we have put together the best possible weigh-in program in combat sports. This program will revolutionize the way weigh-ins are conducted around the world and we look forward to the positive outcome it will have on safety standards related to weight-cutting globally,” Hume said.
The next MMA fight under the new program will be held this coming January 23rd in China.