The controversial practice of extreme weight cutting is back in the spotlight, after MMA fighter Cynthia Calvillo appeared to struggle to make it to the scale during Friday’s weigh-ins for an upcoming event in Argentina.
The strawweight contender appeared shaky as she moved across the stage, and once on the scale, she appeared to lose her balance, relying on people nearby to steady her.
The televised event led some on social media to question the practice of weight cutting, which encourages competitors to quickly shed pounds ahead of a match to allow them to compete in smaller divisions.
UFC later announced that at Calvillo, who weighed in at 118 pounds, had missed the 116-pound limit by two pounds.
The San Jose-born fighter released a statement, in which she blamed “menstruation” for her failure to make weight.
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“Basically what happened is I started my period this week. We were kind of prepared for it, because we could feel the symptoms,” Calvillo said.
“We tried everything and I could not break a sweat. Even when I got up to the scale, I was the same weight that I [was when I] woke up at 5:30 in the morning.”
Weight cutting has led to death in some extreme cases, like Australian teen Jessica Lindsay, who died while preparing for a Thai boxing bout 2017.
MMA Athletic Commission doctors cleared Calvillo, and her scheduled fight against Poliana Botelho on Saturday in Buenos Aires will go forward as planned.
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