Contestant Safety Strategy to Address Rapid Weight Loss (Weight Cutting) by Dehydration

The Combat Sports Commission (the Commission) released its report ‘Contestant Safety Strategy to Address Rapid Weight Loss (Weight Cutting) by Dehydration’ (the strategy) on 15 December 2018 for public comment until 31 January 2019. The commission has developed the strategy after extensive research and consultation with the combat sports industry and Curtin University.

Rapid weight loss (weight cutting) by dehydration is a dangerous practice often undertaken in combat sports. Contestants rapidly decrease their body weight before weigh-ins through excessive dehydration, for the purposes of gaining an advantage by competing in a weight class below their normal fighting weight.

Contestants then attempt to regain the lost weight in the time between the weigh-in and the contest (usually about 24 hours in Western Australia), with the intention of being heavier than their opponent in the contest.

Many physiological and psychological symptoms demonstrate that weight cutting by dehydration is harmful to all contestants. 

In addition, while contestants may be able to regain most or all of the rapidly lost weight, there is research to suggest that contestants are not adequately hydrated at the time of the contest, so creating an increased risk of injury, which can prove fatal.

The commission is keen to provide the safest possible environment for combat sports in Western Australia.

Public comment

The commission has released this report for public comment and welcomes any feedback in relation to any aspect of the report or strategy. The public comment period will close on 31 January 2019.

Please send all comments to the Combat Sport Commission using either of the following methods: