With stateside aspirations looming large, ONE Championship may need to start clarifying some things regarding its weight-cutting process.
The Singapore-based promotion is set to launch its first event as part of a newly signed broadcasting deal with Amazon Prime. Taking place tomorrow morning local time (Aug. 26, 2022) live from Kallang, Singapore, ONE on Prime Video 1 kicks off a new stretch of events to be put on by the promotion. The action begins at 8 p.m. EST.
Today (Thurs., Aug. 25, 2022), the 20 fighters set to compete weighed in … but not without issue.
Nine athletes either missed weight, didn’t weigh in, failed hydration, or were unable to provide hydration during ONE’s official weigh-ins which were streamed live on its YouTube channel. Midway through the 48-minute process, the stream cut out and displayed a promotional image before coming back roughly four minutes before ending. Full weigh-in results can be seen below (h/t Combat Press):
135lbs.: (C)Adriano Moraes ()* vs. Demetrious Johnson (134.75)
Muay Thai – 145lbs.: (C)Nong-O Gaiyanghadao (144.5) vs. Liam Harrison (145)
Muay Thai – 135lbs.: Rodtang Jitmuangnon ()*** vs. Savvas Michael (134.25)
265lbs.: Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida (257.75) vs. Kirill Grishenko ()
265lbs.: Amir Aliakbari (258.75) vs. Mauro Cerilli (259.5)
Muay Thai – 135lbs.: Superlek Kiatmoo9 (135) vs. Walter Goncalves ()*
Muay Thai – 135lbs.: Panpayak Jitmuangnon (135.5)** vs. Sherzod Kabutov ()***
Muay Thai – 127lbs.: Diandra Martin (127.5) vs. Amber Kitchen (127.5)
115lbs.: Itsuki Hirata ()* vs. Lin Heqin ()*
185lbs.: Zebaztian Kadestam ()* vs. Iuri Lapicus (185.75)**
* – Fighter failed hydration; had until 3 a.m. local time to make weight and hydration
** – Fighter passed hydration, but missed weight; had until 3 a.m. local time to make weight and hydration
*** – Fighter unable to provide hydration sample; had until 3 a.m. local time to make weight and hydration
UPDATE: MMA Fighting has confirmed that Rodtang is now out of his bout with Michael due to an illness.
UPDATE: Moraes was revealed at ceremonial weigh-ins to have come in overweight at 135.25 pounds. He now has six hours to make weight and pass hydration.
It should also be noted that at the early weigh-ins ~10 hours ago, Moraes could not provide a urine sample and was not allowed to weigh in. He was given several hours to come back and make weight, resulting in what we have now.
— Jay Pettry (@jaypettry) August 26, 2022
Update: Moraes did provide a urine sample but was not allowed to weigh in after failing his hydration test. This is all such a convoluted mess.
— Jay Pettry (@jaypettry) August 26, 2022
In case there’s anyone out there who still believes that ONE fighters don’t do weight cutting…don’t take it from me, take it from an actual fighter weight cutting in a sauna suit. pic.twitter.com/HzlA43rVlw
— Jonathan of Kowloon & Brickfields (@GlobeSvcs) August 25, 2022
In an effort to eliminate weight cutting and provide additional fighter safety, ONE implements hydration testing and has weight limits 10 pounds higher than what they traditionally are. For example, Flyweight — 125 pounds — is 135 pounds in ONE. Per ONE’s official website, “ONE leads the global martial arts industry by banning weight-cutting via dehydration.”
The athletes are subjected to three hydration tests throughout fight week with the last coming on fight night if they failed one of the prior two tests. “If an athlete fails the hydration test on event day, he or she is not permitted to compete,” the website reads. “Should an athlete pass the hydration test, but weigh in above the restrictions of the contracted weight class, then the bout may take place at a catchweight — as long as the athlete is within 105 percent of his or her opponent’s official weight, and if the opponent agrees to the bout. Additionally, a percentage of the athlete’s purse will be given to the opponent due to failure to make the contracted weight. Post-bout weight may not exceed five percent over the weight class or catchweight limit.”
The ceremonial weigh-ins for ONE on Prime Video 1 go down later tonight and it appears unlikely that anything will change with the event’s proceedings. Both sets of weigh-ins are the only bits of information made public regarding the process. A similar occurrence came ahead of ONE’s recent big show, ONE X, in March 2022 where eight fighters failed their hydration tests but continued on to compete.
Speaking to Forbes last week, ONE Founder, Chatri Sityodtong, revealed his intentions of debuting the promotion in America in 2023 with multiple events. Because of the vast differences between international and domestic regulatory bodies, and certain promotions like ONE, it will be interesting to see how much stays the same and how much would change if ONE does achieve that goal.
ONE on Prime Video 1 is also expected to be the first event that the promotion will be publicly drug testing its athletes using International Doping Tests & Management — a subsidiary of Drug-Free Sport International that will “independently handle all testing for illegal substances,” reports South China Morning Post. Sityodtong stated in 2019 that ONE had begun implementing World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) standard testing, a claim that was quickly denied by WADA (h/t The Body Lock).