Brazilian MMA fighter, Leandro “Feijao” Souza, died yesterday just before his weigh in for tonight’s Shooto Brazil 43 in Rio de Janeiro. The blame for Souza’s sudden death is cutting weight. His training partner, Andre Santos, talked about the incident.
“We don’t have much information yet, but we do know that is related to his weight cut. He’s my student but he also trains at Nova Uniao for about a year. I wasn’t with him during this process because I have a fight scheduled in Russia, so he spent the night at Nova Uniao’s gym. His sister called me saying that he had passed out so I went to the hospital, but he was already dead when I got there.”
Cutting weight, then putting it back on before the fight is a common practice in MMA, boxing, amateur wrestling, and other combat sports with weight classes. Fighters will then quickly rehydrate themselves, adding upwards of 15 pounds to try and gain an advantage over their opponents. During his fight with Floyd Mayweather, Canelo Alvarez gained 13 pounds between the weigh in and the fight. A lot of competitors end up with kidney and other digestive issues from years of cutting weight.
Perhaps a limit on how much weight can be put on between weigh in and fight can be implemented or simply having same day weigh ins. This is something the UFC ,or any other combat sport organization, doesn’t need.
Condolences to Leandro Souza and his family.
H/T: MMA Fighting