Fight's Off Due to a Popular MMA Fighter's Extreme Weight Loss Routine

Premier Health Now

Mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters are notorious not only for their toughness, but also for their grueling training regimens that allow them to compete with the very best in their sport. Fighter Max Holloway recently made news when it was revealed he was taking extreme measures to rapidly lose weight to compete at the UFC 223 event on April 7. A day before the fight, Holloway was ruled to be medically unfit to fight for the lightweight championship.

Premier Health Now spoke with Mitchell Simmons, a Premier Health athletic trainer and certified strength and conditioning specialist, to learn more about these methods of cutting weight and the impact they can have upon the human body.

Don’t Try This at Home

“It’s important to understand that Holloway is likely being supervised by a trained team that is closely monitoring his vital signs, as well as his hydration and lean and fat mass levels,” says Simmons. “For the weekend warrior, using extreme measures to lose weight is really unadvisable since it presents a number of risks that can actually produce adverse results and put your health at risk.”

Though “cutting weight” is a common practice among athletes in sports such as high school and college wrestling, numerous governing bodies have implemented strong guidelines for athletes for a very good reason. When uncontrolled, attempts at rapid weight loss can lead to dehydration, muscle cramping, fatigue, dizziness, weakness, decreased concentration and performance, and even death, because of the serious strain put upon the body’s cardiovascular system. In addition, such drastic measures can destroy more lean muscle tissue than fat, which defeats the goal of the weight loss in the first place.

“When it comes to losing weight, it's always best to consult with your doctor or a dietitian who can keep you accountable and help you balance the amount of calories you burn with the amount you consume,” says Simmons.