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

Weight cutting is a dangerous practice often inappropriately undertaken in combat sports. This is where contestants rapidly decrease their body weight before weigh-ins through excessive dehydration, for the purpose of gaining an advantage by competing in a weight class artificially below what could be achieved through diet and training.

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 physical and mental symptoms occur as a result of weight cutting by dehydration which are harmful to all contestants. 

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

For further information, download the resources from this page or contact the Commission on +61 8 6552 6104 or combatsport@dlgsc.wa.gov.au.