A majority of you “ammy” fighters believe that learning how to “cut weight” is your secret weapon to winning fights. I challenge you to re-think that thought.
Though cutting weight can give you an advantage in pounds, nothing beats good old fashioned hard work and smart preparation. In fact, cutting weight can and will alter your metabolism in the long run, during a bout or your general state of well being. Dehydrating by 5 lbs is not a huge derailment to your metabolism, but what I am referring to is the 10-20 lbs that you sometimes hear about when a fighter bravely takes a bout on short notice. It is heroic and courageous to step in for a match up that has fallen apart BUT why not be a little more forward thinking to stay prepared for a battle at all times?
My first trainer, an ex fighter from Thailand, taught me to think like a true warrior. He would say “Don’t train FOR a fight, train TO fight” To me that meant staying in shape all year round to prevent the extreme “cutting” process. Hovering close to “fight weight” meant eating right and training daily. I followed his way for most of my AM/PRO fight career, doing my due diligence to stick with this mindset. This kept me able to fight in the super middleweight division during my entire journey as a Nak Muay.
I was always ready, willing and able until my second to last PRO fight. I made the mistake of not following the game plan that had kept me ready for years. Not having a confirmed opponent for the bulk of my 8 week fight camp, I allowed myself to lose focus, not training seriously and letting my normally healthy dieting process go by the waste side. This resulted in me sitting in the sauna for hours the day of the weigh-in and fighting worn and sluggish, just making it out of the fight by the skin of my teeth. All credit to my opponent who was indeed the better fighter that night. The result of that difficulty in making the weight cost me the glory of getting my hand raised in front of my hometown crowd.
I’ve always known that I was a Muay Thai Lifer – whether I was going to fight beyond my prime or instead take on coaching full time. Staying in optimal health is the only way to ensure this path and depends solely on the food you put in your body for performance, recovery, and your overall well being!
Believe that you not only train like a warrior, but eat like one too. There are better ways to get to “fight weight” other than starving and dehydrating yourself. Explore your options and be “Battle Ready”!