(FloSports is a proud partner of Front Office Sports)
As part of a recent push to reach fans at home waiting for the return of live sports, FloSports have begun rolling out a series of new documentary films set for release in the coming months. The first in this series, titled “Bad Cut”, is available now to stream.
The film explores the dangers of extreme weight cutting among MMA fighters and wrestlers and the adverse impact the practice is having on the business of combat sports.
Correspondent Mark Bader has spent the last twelve years at FloSports with the better part of the last eight being focused on their documentary and docu-series efforts. In “Bad Cut,” Bader travels around the country to speak with medical experts, regulators, and athletes in an attempt to understand the issue of extreme weight cutting and what steps can be taken to ensure the practice does not continue.
A former college wrestler himself, Bader saw some of the negative effects of weight cutting first hand. He was fortunate enough to not personally witness any extreme examples of the practice at that time, but the effects were still felt throughout the sport.
“I came into college in 1998 and in 1997, three college wrestlers had died cutting weight,” Bader recalls. “So they really implemented some new rules that went into place. But they were really new and not sophisticated. I saw some crazy stuff, including wrestlers getting carried to and from the scale prior to matches.”
“When the suggestion came up about doing a story on weight cutting, I initially just didn’t see it,” Bader told FOS. “But we found a few angles to tell the story, including CJ Hancock and his whole story.”
In 2017, Hancock was competing in an MMA competition when he collapsed in the middle of a fight. Hancock was technically dead for five minutes before paramedics were able to revive him.
This was later credited to extreme steps that Hancock took to make sure he made weight for the fight. This is used as a jumping off point to find other examples in combat sports.
Bader and the FloSports team hope that the stories detailed in the film help combat sports officials and administrators continue to take steps to ensure the health of athletes before, during, and after matches.
“College wrestling implemented a bunch of new rules 20 years ago and have been tweaking them ever since,” Bader stated. “United World Wrestling, Olympic wrestling’s world governing body, have recently changed from 24-hour weigh-ins the day before an event to one or two hours before an event. You just can’t get that much water and weight out of your body in that window of time and then expect to be able to compete at a high level. So it’s definitely trending in the right direction and I hope that continues.”