Asian MMA promotion, One Championship, has continued its unprecedented weight management reform, and has indicated that all contracted athletes will be required to move upwards to the next weight division, in addition to the previously reported ban on weight cutting through dehydration.
One Championship CEO Victor Cui appeared on Fox Sports Asia to clarify on some of the developments. Cui outlined how the big decisions were made, and how all champions will retain their status despite moving up a division.
Via Yahoo Sports: “All our athletes will move up a weight class together and in unison,” Cui explained.
All champions will remain crowned, with the only difference being a shift in their weight division. For example, 155lb lightweight champion Shinya Aoki will be become the 170lbs welterweight champion, and previous welterweight champion Ben Askren will become the leader at middleweight (185lbs).
Cui continued, “First and foremost, it allows athletes to compete at the weight that they walk around every single day and that makes it a level and safe playing field for all athletes. What we’re implementing has been in place for several years already in collegiate wrestling in the United States and been a topic of discussion with multiple industry experts all around the world.
“We are very fortunate on the ONE Championship team that we’ve got some of the most respected and experienced people in the industry. Matt Hume, who has been in the industry for over 25 years, is our VP of competition, our VP Rich Franklin is a former world champion himself, and we have consulted with doctors in the West and in the East to put forward what we think is really a game changing plan to make this a safer sport for all athletes.”
The ground breaking action has been implemented following the tragic death of Chinese flyweight Yang Jiang Bing who, on December 11th, was reportedly rushed to hospital and passed away as a result of weight cutting complications prior to his anticipated appearance under the One Championship banner.