Bryce Mitchell wants to see weight-cutting in mixed martial arts come to an end.
Coming off the first setback of his MMA career, ‘Thug Nasty’ sat down with ESPN MMA’s Brett Okamoto to discuss his submission loss to Ilia Topuria at UFC 282 in December. Kicking off the conversation, Mitchell immediately took aim at weight-cutting, a long-running, yet the highly criticized process that has become synonymous with combat sports, particularly MMA.
“When you’re cutting weight, you’re not really living, you’re surviving,” said Mitchell. “There’s a difference when you’re living your life. You’re enjoying it, doing stuff. You’re meeting objectives and goals and you’re flourishing. You’re getting better. One foot in front of the other. When you’re cutting weight, you’re dying. You’re barely surviving on low calories for a short amount of time because it’s non-sustainable, obviously.
“If you were to take a fighter at the weight cut and continue the same pattern he’s on to the next day, a lot of these people would die. They’d drop dead, brother because they almost died trying to make the weight. If they did the same thing the next day, they would die. It ain’t fun.”
Why didn’t Bryce Mitchell (@ThugnastyMMA) pull out of his fight against Topuria when he got sick? This is why. And he’s not complaining. This is the game. But it’s important to know what goes into these hard choices fighters face. pic.twitter.com/ouKUFh1yau
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) January 5, 2023
Bryce Mitchell Believes Ending Weight Cuts Will Extend the Careers of Fighters, Maximizing Their Earning Potential
If Bryce Mitchell gets his way, weight-cutting will eventually become a thing of the past. Though it may be a little more difficult than how Mitchell suggests, he does make some excellent points on how the end of weight-cutting would benefit both the fans and the fighters.
“No more cutting weight. You show up and you fight what the f*ck you weigh at. I walk around 165 so I’d either fight at 17o or 165 and that’s just, you show up that day, you get on the scale that day five minutes before you get in the cage. Every person that has not fought, or even if they have, they’re gonna have an opinion on it, but they’re all wrong. I’m just telling you that’s how it should be.
“They’re not the ones cutting weight and saying, ‘Oh, this is great for us.’ The fans ain’t even getting as good of a show and the fighters are getting less… I think part of the reason they have us cut weight is it’ll kill us off quicker. I don’t know. Maybe I’m a conspiracy theorist or whatever, but I feel like… I don’t know, man. I don’t know. It really does kill you quicker cutting all that weight. It’s not good for you and fighters would have longer careers and make more money if they didn’t have to cut the weight.”
One potential solution to prevent fighters from dehydrating themselves to dangerous levels just before a fight is a hydration test. Asian-based promotion ONE Championship currently utilizes this method to ensure fighters are going into a fight in the best possible condition. Both weight and hydration levels must be within certain limits in order for a fighter to be allowed to compete. If they miss the mark on either one, their bout could be postponed or scrapped altogether.