Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology








School of Medical and Health Sciences




Peacock, C. A., French, D., Sanders, G. J., Ricci, A., Stull, C., & Antonio, J. (2022).Weight loss and competition weight in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) athletes. Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology, 7(4), Article 115.


Previous research has demonstrated that professional mixed martial arts (MMA) athletes employ a variety of weight manipulation strategies to compete at given weight classes. Although there is much literature demonstrating weight manipulation methods, minimal research exists analyzing how much weight MMA athletes lose prior to the official weigh-in. Moreover, there is minimal research examining how much weight professional MMA athletes gain between the official weigh-in and competition. Therefore, the purpose of the current study was to analyze weight loss/regain in professional MMA athletes. Data collected from 616 professional MMA athletes (31.1 ± 4.0 yrs. ; 177.1 ± 4.7 cm) competing for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) between 2020 and 2022 were used for the study. The athlete’s weight was obtained 72 h, 48 h, and 24 h prior to the official weigh-in, at the official weigh-in, and prior to competition. Random effects analysis was utilized to compare weight at a variety of time points between different weight classes. All statistics were analyzed, and significance was set at p ≤ 0.05. There is a significant (p ≤ 0.05) difference between weight classes and time points in professional MMA. MMA athletes decrease body weight significantly prior to the official weigh-in. MMA athletes increase body weight significantly between official weigh-in and competition. Based on these data, it appears that MMA athletes average a weight loss of nearly 7 % within 72 h prior to the official weigh-in. The data also suggest that athletes gain nearly 10 % of total weight between the official weigh-in and competition.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.