Weight cutting is an essential part of been a successful athlete in the sport of MMA and while it’s an important task, it can become extremely dangerous.
That is of course if it’s not done in the correct manner and therefore, Morecambe’s mixed martial arts hopeful Nathan Wyatt has postponed his fight that was scheduled for March 4, with that in mind.
The 21-year-old had been due to fight Reps MMA’s Jordan Chester next month but, after considering the dangers of drastic weight cutting in a short amount of time, the bout has been pushed back to May 20 – the next available meeting on the UK Fighting Championship promotion.
Despite wanting to fight, Wyatt admitted he had to put his well-being first with fighters such as Yang Jian Bing losing his life to weight cutting in 2015.
The Kaizen Academy fighter said: “I didn’t want to risk my health for the sake of a weight number when I can chill out for a bit instead and lose it properly.
“I need to hit a certain number to make the weight class and if we were going to fight in March, I would’ve had a horrendous quality life leading up to it.
“Therefore, I’ve decided it would be best to take a step back and lose the weight safely and slowly.
“If it’s not done properly, you’ll lose your focus, you won’t go into a fight ready and therefore increase your chances of coming out of the cage with a loss.
“It’s also quiet bad for brain damage because your hormones will move out of sync due to your hydration not been where you need it and because of that, a punch will feel like it hurts a lot more.
“If you don’t go into a fight in the correct manner, a punch that you’d usually be able to take and move on, could actually knock you off your feet.
Wyatt has taken on the task of losing a significant amount of weight in a short time before, but this time he felt like it wasn’t worth the mental battle.
He added: “One of my fights in the past, I went from 82kg to 76kg in about five weeks and even though that’s not too bad, it still wasn’t good.
“I couldn’t enjoy any of the food I like and if I ever gave into temptation and slipped up, I’d be beating myself up.
“It only took for me to give in to one chocolate bar and mentally I was punishing myself, felt like s**t and then you don’t get what you want out of training and that makes you feel worse.
“The weight cutting ends up taking over you and you find yourself focusing more on the weight target than the fight itself really which is a bit scary really when you consider what you’re about to step into the cage to do.
One of Wyatt’s coaches at Lancaster’s Kaizen Academy, Lewis Mackenzie backed up the need for safety when weight cutting is concerned.
Mackenzie said: “The fact that you’re dehydrating yourself on top of basically starving yourself basically shrinks your brain in a way and then because of that you’re not really thinking straight.
“You’re taking all the salts out of your body to add to that and it becomes really dangerous.
“The safe way to do it is to leave yourself with no more than five percent of your body weight in the week leading up to your fight and try your best to avoid the hot bath at the end of the week.
“If you have to use the bath at the end, you’re pretty much shooting yourself in the foot and leaving yourself with problems going into the fight.
“Most people that have died in the sport have actually died as a consequence of not cutting properly and not through the actually fighting.”