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Wednesday, Oct 18, 2006

Weigh-ins For Championship Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, And Kickboxing Matches

New Jersey State Athletic Control Board Press Release:

Weigh-Ins for Championship Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, and Kickboxing Matches

From: Commissioner Hazzard
Date: October 17, 2006
Subject: Weigh-Ins for Championship Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts, and Kickboxing Matches

This agency has been fortunate in that fighters involved in recent world championship contests held in Atlantic City have not had trouble making weight at the weigh-in held the day prior to competition. However, we are aware of the weigh-in problems that have occurred in jurisdictions outside of New Jersey. These weigh-in problems at championship fights held elsewhere have caused us to review our championship weigh-in policy. We have discussed this matter with staff, medical personnel and reviewed media articles on the subject.

In summary, we agree with the WBC and Mr. Jose Sulaiman that a 30 day and 7 day weigh-in should be held in addition to the customary weigh-in prior to championship bouts. Although this idea originated with the WBC and not with us, we are always open to the ideas of others and encourage other commissions to be open to such credible ideas as well. We do believe that New Jersey will be the first state to require that the WBC weigh-in procedure be followed. This agency will institute this new weigh-in policy for all championship bouts held in New Jersey after January 1, 2007.

The contestants will be able to be weigh-in at the nearest recognized athletic commission. The fighters will not be mandated to travel to New Jersey 30 days and 7 days prior to the bout. For example, if the fighter is training in California for a championship bout to be held in Atlantic City, that fighter could go to the California commission to weigh-in 30 days and 7 days prior to the bout. If the commission is unable or unwilling to weigh the fighter, arrangements can be made at another state facility or be certified by a licensed physician.

At the 30 day weigh-in, a fighter cannot weigh over 10% of his or her contract weight. At the seven day weigh-in, a fighter must be within 5% of his or her contract weight.

Unfortunately, it seems that certain championship caliber fighters are in the habit of dieting and using steam rooms, saunas and associated tactics in the week prior to the fight in order to make weight. Subsequent to the customary weigh-in, these same fighters gorge themselves with liquids and nutritional substances to attempt to regain proper physical stability to compete. This type of practice has a negative effect on a fighter’s short and long term health. Further, such a threat to a professional’s health and safety must be eliminated. This new weigh-in procedure would not be necessary if championship caliber fighter’s conducted themselves like absolute professionals and stayed in competition shape year round and at or near their fighting weight.

We do not agree that moving the weigh-in to the day of the event is the proper solution. In theory, we agree with the concept, but the practical reality dictates the opposite conclusion. A weigh -in on the day of the event will only increase the chances of seeing a dehydrated fighter competing during the event. While this approach may be successful in other sports like amateur or collegiate wrestling, these competitors are not subject to repeated blows to the head and are not trained by individuals who derive substantial revenue from a percentage of the fighter’s purse.

It is my hope that by enacting this mandate, professional combative sports contestants will place a greater emphasis on weight maintenance. I believe that this procedure will enhance the health and safety of the fighter (which, as regulators, should always be our primary focus) as well as the image of these sports.

As boxing attorney Pat English, Esq. has recently stated on this subject, there is a problem that is real and needs to be addressed. We agree with Mr. English’s comments that this solution is a partial answer and is not perfect, but something needs to be done.

This policy will also go into effect on January 1, 2007 for world class caliber professional mixed martial arts and kick boxing contests held here.

The Northern Touch

Curran Edges By Fabiano At Apex "A Night of Champions"

Despite UFC 64 capturing the vast majority of the MMA spotlight last weekend, fans in Gatineau, Quebec, were also treated to some compelling live fighting action as well. The Robert Guertin Arena was host to the Apex "A Night of Champions" event, the organizations fifth card since the promotion’s inception in 2004. The cards main event featured two Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belts in Jeff Curran and Wagnney Fabiano, battling it out for the vacant Apex World Featherweight title, (145 pounds) a fight that had been highly anticipated since Fabiano defeated Curran’s prize student, Matt Fiordirosa, in his second professional MMA fight on January 14th. After all was said and done on this Saturday night affair, it would be the internationally experienced Curran edging out a split decision victory over Fabiano, for the championship win. (29-28, 27-30, 30-27)

"The Curran, Fabiano fight was a real close, technical fight," says Apex promoter Alex Caporicci. "A lot of fans had Fabiano as the winner in it, but there were some fans who thought Curran came out on top. So, everyone had an opinion. Both these guys are among the best in their weight class and fought a real tough fight. We’re proud to have Jeff Curran as our champion and both these competitors will be back in the APEX ring soon. But, I think on this night, Fabiano proved he belongs in the ring with anybody at 145 and is arguably Canada’s best."

Curran, who with the win extends his record to 26-8-1 while Fabiano’s falls to 4-1, admits that he was unsure of what the results would be when the fight went to the judge’s cards.

"I wasn’t sure if I would get the decision or not," Curran tells FCF. "You never know. The Quebec Athletic Commission is very familiar with striking, so I was hoping they took notice in the hard shots I landed. I definitely think I won the fight. No doubts in my mind. Wagnney would take me down, but all to avoid the stand-up. When we got down he didn’t do much of anything. He was a little too passive and the referee would stand us up. I was fine on the ground; I worked for submissions and actually threw lots of strikes too. Let’s also remember that he never made weight by 2 lbs. Being a title fight it was my choice to keep it a title match. I decided yes, but had he lost 2 more lbs he may not have had anything left in his tank, especially after my left kick to his liver."

The title victory for Curran gets the Crystal Lake fighter back on the winning track, after losing by unanimous decision to Hatsu Hioki in August’s PRIDE Bushido event. Curran was quick to give credit to Fabiano for his performance, and is looking forward to his upcoming bouts.

"I wasn’t surprised by anything really," says Curran in evaluating Fabiano’s impressive performance. "I knew he would be in good shape and prepared for me. He is a world class athlete that understands what needs to be done to prepare for something like this. November 11th I am headlining XFO 13 in its largest show ever to date. It has a UFC quality fight card in the works and lots of very interesting fights as well. That is at the all new Sears Centre Arena in Chicago. It holds13, 000 people and we plan on filling every seat. Then back to Pride in 2007."

In other notable action from the night, Hamilton fighter Jeff Joslin secured the Apex World Welterweight Championship by knocking out Nuri Shakir at 2:42 of the first round. Joslin, whose record now stands at 5-2, was returning to action for the first time since dropping a controversial split decision loss to UFC veteran Jon Fitch, at Freedom Fight: Canada versus USA event, in July of 2005.

"Joslin looked amazing," says Caporicci in recalling the title fight. "He proved to me, once again, that he among the world’s top welterweights. Nuri Shakir does not have the best record in the world when you look at it on a whole, but the people he’s faced and an 8-1 record in the last year and a half, proves that Shakir is one of the best out there. Shakir is tough as nails, never been KO’ed and Joslin took him out. He deserves a ton a credit and we’re proud to have Jeff as our World Champ."

In the night’s other Championship bouts; Rowan Cunningham submitted Jordan Jewell with a triangle choke at 2:19 of the third round to win the Apex Canadian Welterweight Title, and Fritz Paul walked away with the event’s Canadian Middleweight belt, by earning a unanimous decision victory over Nabil Khatib. In another fight of interest, veteran fighter Kevin Manderson was submitted with a rear-naked choke at 1:25 of round 1 by Mark Bocek. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black Belt and instructor Bocek, was competing in just his second professional MMA fight.

"Crowning four champions, the first in our history, was great and we’re proud to have all four men as our champions," Caporicci tells FCF. "Seeing the evolution of future stars like Rowan Cunningham, Cedric Grenon, Jordan Jewell, Nick Denis and Mark Bocek is great as well. Then to bring back guys like Wagnney Fabiano and Jeff Joslin that fans have wanted to see, is just icing on the cake."

posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 8:00 pm
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