Atzori supports move to offset weight cutting danger
GREG Atzori has thrown his support behind BRACE's new weight categories.
The mixed martial arts promotion introduced new weight categories to "offset the continued dangers surrounding the practice of cutting weight".
BRACE has adopted a similar weight class structure to ONE championship, a Singapore-based MMA company.
Athletes will be forced to submit three weight statistics to determine which category they an compete: current walking weight, previous fight week weight (one week prior to weigh in), and previous weight cutting (one day before weigh in).
BRACE CEO Kya Pate said he weight-cutting practices should be left to the past.
"I expect to now see our fighters stepping on the scales, drinking water, happy, hydrated and ready for competition," Pate said.
"Cutting weight, sauna's, salt baths and dehydrating your body should be put in the past.
"What is the point of two fighters walking around at similar weights, then both cutting to reach a target then rehydrating back to the same weight they started at?"
It is a step in the right direction according to Atzori, who has learned from his own experience cutting weight.
"I've had 29 fights now but I did three where I cut from 86kg to 70kg," he said.
"Two of those I was exhausted by the second round."
In the third instance, Atzori opted to take a blood test after the fight, which uncovered his own health scare.
"It showed my kidney function was down, my white blood cell was elevated," he said.
"With that big a cut, I was trying to time it to the day but my flights were delayed and I had very limited time to cut.
"That's a lot of drain. I'm not an expert, but I'd say there is some damage to their bodies because of it."
Atzori, who is currently serving a 30-day medical suspension after his knockout loss to Brentin Mumford in Eternal 26's main event, said he had two options.
The first was to fight closer to his everyday weight, which could have bumped him up a weight class, or he made changes to his diet and training regime.
He chose the latter.
"Now I walk around about 75 to 77kg and I fight about 70kg," he said.
"My diet is a consistent thing. After a fight I'll have a blow-out for a week, maximum, then it's back into being strict."
The promotion's move to the new system comes a week after Toowoomba plumber Craig Booth was left to fight for his life when trying to cut weight.
The 26-year-old was set to fight Dimps Gillies at Eternal 26 at Southport Sharks on July 8.
Booth was found in a bath under hot towels at the Golden Shores Holiday Club at Labrador, and was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital in a critical condition.
BRACE's new weight divisions
HEAVYWEIGHT: 102.2 KG - 120.2 KG
LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT: 93.1 KG - 102.1 KG
MIDDLEWEIGHT: 84.0 KG - 93.0 KG
WELTERWEIGHT: 77.2 KG - 83.9 KG
LIGHTWEIGHT: 70.4 KG - 77.1 KG
FEATHERWEIGHT: 65.9 KG - 70.3 KG
BANTAMWEIGHT: 61.3 KG - 65.8 KG
FLYWEIGHT: 56.8 KG - 61.2 KG
STRAWWEIGHT: 52.3 KG - 56.7 KG