What You Need To Know About Weight Cutting


From the time of a weigh-in to the moment the fight begins, you will often see many fighters go through a tremendous physical transformation. Within a 24 to 30-hour period, they can lose and gain as much as 10 pounds or more, which can be a huge advantage during the fight. While weight cutting is a typical part of many fighters’ game plans, it can be dangerous. Thoughtful, careful weight cutting can reduce the impact this process has on a fighter’s body.

The dangers of weight cutting include damage to the organ systems of the body, particularly the kidneys. In addition, severe weight cutting can increase the risk of injury.

“If you cut too much weight, you can tax the organs,” explains Jeff Clark, an MMA coach and manager at The Arena in San Diego, California. “The other main problem is that you can lose too much fluid around the brain. This can cause some trauma and make you more susceptible to knock outs.”

In general, it is smart to start thinking about weight cutting about four to six weeks prior to the fight. Your goal is to get as close to the weight limit as possible, to give yourself more space to bulk up after the weigh-in. This means that a fighter typically should be about 7 to 12 pounds higher than fight weight a week prior to the weigh-in date. The best way to get to this point is with a combination of heavy training and eating a healthy and balanced diet that is low in fat.

When you do reach that crucial 7-day mark, the more extreme side of weight cuts begins. One way many fighters begin is by drinking only distilled water. This throws off your body’s PH balance and allows you to quickly remove water from your system. The night before the weigh-in, cut all water and head to the sauna as this will help you quickly strip off the water weight.

After weigh-in, you will have maybe 30 hours at the most to put weight back on rapidly. The safest way to do this is to eat healthy foods, especially fruit and complex carbohydrates. As far as hydration goes, drink small and steady amounts of water, coconut water and electrolyte drinks such as Pedialyte.

3 Main MMA Fighting Styles: Striking, Jiu Jitsu, and Wrestling

3 Main MMA Styles

The value of being an MMA fighter is the diverse tool box of moves, styles, and ideologies you have at your disposal to dominate and defeat your opponent. When you watch a master fighter at his craft, he will blend different styles together seamlessly into one continuous and powerful movement, making it look effortless and unexpectedly graceful. Yet understanding the three main MMA fighting styles are the building blocks that every fighter needs to grasp completely in order to reach this level of artistry. Read on to learn more about striking, jiu jitsu, and wrestling to elevate your game and continue to reach for mastery of this incredible sport.


When it comes to striking, you really should watch Lyoto Machida versus Rashad Evans at UFC 98 to witness this style at its best. Machida’s precision and combinations reached a level of achievement that appeared so perfect as to be closer to something you would see in a video game, not in real life. Striking combines two goals during a fight: to wear your opponent down and to knock them out.

The good news is that striking is fairly easy to integrate into your current technique because the stance and posture required are the ones that you come out of your corner with: head low, hands up, and feet shoulder width apart. The variety of jabs available to the striker, from the cross to the always dramatic uppercut, give you a wide range of choices to keep your opponent guessing and help you surprise him when he isn’t looking with a carefully placed fake. Striking is a must for all serious MMA fighters, and something we teach heavily in our Mixed Martial Arts San Diego classes.

Jiu Jitsu

Since the first Gracie stepped into the ring and whipped out their unparalleled jiu jitsu technique, this fighting style has been a staple of all successful mixed martial artist’s playbook.

Focusing on grappling and ground fighting, jiu jitsu techniques provide fail-proof ways to dominate and submit your opponent. From a variety of full control mounts to chokeholds, the skilled jiu jitsu fighter has a dangerous skill set at his disposal to claim victory over the largest and most intimidating opponent.


Just about every big name in MMA has a solid wrestling background.


Because the unique combination of throws, takedowns, mounts, pins, and clinches makes it a veritable Cliff’s Notes on how to earn a victory, by skill or by brute force. Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson, Rashad Evans, and Brandon Vera use wrestling as a cornerstone of their ground game, just to name a few. And of course, the man who built his MMA career on his wrestling skills, Matt Hughes, provides great examples of how integral wrestling is to a successful game strategy.

Yet while all of these styles individually have their strengths and benefits to a fighter’s game, overall success and victory only comes from integrating all three together to create a strategy that is multifaceted and technically strong. Truly great mixed martial artists, like Anderson Silva, prove time and time that the only way to ensure a fool-proof victory strategy and a reputation as a feared opponent is to be well rounded in all of these incredible fighting styles. Identify which you need to polish, and then use it to up your game and take it to the next level.

Paulo Thiago & Jiu Jitsu Master Ataide Jr. Seminar @ The Arena Thursday 10/28

Paulo Thiago and his head coach Ataide Jr., the founder of Constrictor Jiu Jitsu, will be conducting a Seminar Thursday Oct. 28 from 6-9PM at The Arena, San Diego’s home for Jiu Jitsu.

The seminar will be split into 2 sections.

The first will be held from 6-7:30PM and will focus on No Gi Jiu Jitsu for MMA.

The second section will be held from 7:30-9:00PM and will focus on No Gi Jiu Jitsu for Grappling Competition.

Ataide Jr. is the coach of ADCC champion and WEC fighter Rani Yahya, who is known for his incredible submissions. This is an amazing opportunity to train with Paulo and Ataide on their only stop in the United States before they return to Brazil.

Everyone is welcome and the price is extremely reasonable; $30 per session or $50 for both session.

San Diego MMA / Jiu Jitsu Ace Rani Yahya is King Of The Submission Jungle

Rani Yahya is MMA’s King of the Submission Jungle. Although the man with the memorable name might still be unknown to some MMA fans out there, the reputation of San Diego MMA fighter and Jiu Jitsu ace Rani Yahya is rapidly growing. Currently training and teaching at The Arena, the Premier MMA gym in San Diego, Yahya is a 135 pound fighter in the WEC, the MMA organization owned by the parent company of the UFC. Yahya has the highest submission percentage of any ranked fighter in the MMA world. With a record of 15-4, an amazing 14 of his wins have been by submission.


This incredible 93% submission rate is due to Yahya’s Jiu Jitsu skills, which have also landed him 3 Jiu Jitsu World titles as well as the 2007 ADCC lightweight championship (the ADCC is the most prestigious submission grappling tournament in the world). Since signing with the WEC in 2007, Yahya has submitted 4 out of his 5 opponents in the first round. His last 3 fights have each earned him Submission of the Night awards, a record not matched by any other fighter in MMA.


So how did Yahya get so good? And why does his Jiu Jitsu work so well for MMA when other, more famous Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champions haven’t come close to matching Yahya’s submission rate in MMA? To answer these questions, it’s necessary to find the source of Yahya’s Jiu Jitsu. In finding that source, a story is uncovered that could have been written for Hollywood, instead of drawn from real life.


Born in 1984 in Brasilia, the capital of Brazil, Yahya started training in Judo by the age of 4. A natural athlete, Yahya was on his way to becoming a Judo champion when fate intervened in the form of a near fatal snake bite at the age of 11. Rushed to the hospital, Yahya was close to death until a man known simply as Ataide came to save him, bringing the anti-venom Yahya needed to stop the poisoning. Fortunately for Yahya, Ataide is the Head of the Reptile Dept. of the Brasilia Zoo. A man known by some as the “Crocodile Dundee” of Brazil, Ataide is one of the foremost experts in the world on deadly reptiles. But Ataide is an expert in another area as well, Jiu Jitsu.


Like Yahya, Ataide trained in martial arts since he was 4, learning from one of the 5 original Red Belts (Jiu Jitsu’s highest rank) of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Because of his intense study of snakes, Ataide eventually transformed the style of Jiu Jitsu he was taught into his own special system, which features snake-like chokes and strangles. Thus was born Ataide’s Constrictor Jiu Jitsu.


Constrictor Jiu Jitsu’s practitioners suffocate their prey just like the snakes that Ataide still handles daily. This style is particularly effective for MMA because it doesn’t rely on fighting from the back like many Jiu Jitsu fighters do. Because of this, Constrictor Jiu Jitsu fighters are not as susceptible to ground and pound and can quickly neutralize opponents who make the mistake of going to the ground with a Constrictor fighter. Besides Yahya and many others in Brazil, UFC fighter Paulo Thiago (who defeated Josh Koscheck in Thiago’s 2009 UFC debut) is also a student of Ataide.


When Ataide saved Rani Yahya’s life, he recognized something special in the young boy, and adopted him as his martial arts son, teaching him the secrets of Constrictor Jiu Jitsu. Because of this influence, Yahya developed a passion for snakes as his mentor Ataide did. Like a modern-day Spider-man, Yahya feels the snake that bit him also transformed him, giving him special powers along the way. Since that first bite 14 years ago, Yahya has never been sick. Incredibly, when another poisonous snake bit him several years later, it had almost no effect.


Today, Yahya has left the real jungle and concentrates on a different one in the MMA world. He lives, trains and teaches in San Diego, where he is the Head Instructor of No Gi Jiu Jitsu for The Arena in San Diego, the well-known San Diego MMA gym where fighters like UFC standout Diego Sanchez train.


Besides his skills as a fighter, Yahya also possesses a great ability for teaching, sharing the Constrictor techniques with students who are looking for a submission grappling system that works well for both MMA and Jiu Jitsu. At The Arena, Yahya is establishing the roots of the Constrictor system in San Diego and eventually the rest of the U.S., as more people learn about this incredibly effective Submission Grappling style.


Whatever happens for Yahya in the future, one thing is certain. Whoever he faces next in the WEC better bring their A game. Because if they don’t, Yahya will strike as fast as the snake that originally bit him, earning yet another victory for MMA’s King of the Submission Jungle.


The Arena – The San Diego MMA Gym. Top Training in Boxing, Jiu Jitsu, MMA, Muay Thai and Wrestling in San Diego

The Arena is the Premier MMA Gym in San Diego that trains professional fighters as well as recreational athletes who want to train like fighters. The Arena offers training in Boxing, Jiu Jitsu, MMA, Muay Thai, and Wrestling in its San Diego MMA gym. For more info on The Arena, go to https://www.thearenagym.com

San Diego Jiu Jitsu and MMA Fighter Diego Garijo Wins Big in Bellator

Diego Garijo, a well-known San Diego Jiu Jitsu and MMA fighter, won big in his first fight on the Bellator Fighting Championships 8 on June 5th 2009.


Garijo represented The Arena, an MMA gym in San Diego known for the strength of its MMA team and its outstanding training. He also represented San Diego’s The University of Jiu Jitsu, owned by the famous Jiu Jitsu World Champions Saulo and Xande Ribeiro.


Garijo shocked the crowd with his come-from-behind win, stopping opponent Saad Awad in 4:45 of the 1st round by rear naked choke. Garijo, known as “El Nino” like other Latino MMA fighter Gilbert Melendez, came into the fight with a 3-1 record, having won his first three fights in a row, but then losing by TKO in his last fight in 2007.


After taking a 2 year layoff to concentrate on his Jiu Jitsu game under the tutelage of Jiu Jitsu masters Saulo and Xande Ribeiro, Garijo returned to training MMA at The Arena, a well-known MMA gym in San Diego. The Arena houses one of the most powerful MMA teams in the U.S., with fighters on their roster including the UFC’s Diego “Nightmare” Sanchez and the WEC’s Rani Yahya.


Garijo returned to the cage to face Saad “Assassin” Awad, who was the heavily favored fighter. Awad came into the fight with a 7-2 record, having fought 5 more times than Garijo over the last 2 years. Initially, the fight looked bad for Garijo when Awad, the San Bernadino favorite, opened a bad cut over Garijo’s eye. But Garijo fought through and countered with knees, then went for a double leg takedown and then guillotine. Awad escaped the guillotine and took Garijo’s back. Garijo once again countered and put Awad in a rear naked choke, ending the fight with an incredible comeback in the 1st round to the screams of an incredulous crowd.


The fight was a huge win for Garijo, who has left his regular job to concentrate full-time on his MMA career. Garijo, managed by Jeff Clark of veteran MMA management company NCFC ), trained extremely hard for his Bellator debut and his work clearly paid off.


It was also one more testament for The Arena’s MMA Team, with 5 previous wins by its fighters in the last two months, including wins by Rani Yahya, Xande Ribeiro, Fabricio “Morango” Camoes, “Notorious” Rick Slaton and Joe “Hybrid” Duarte.


About The Arena – The San Diego MMA Gym and Fight Team

The Arena is a MMA gym in San Diego that trains professional fighters as well as recreational athletes who want to train like fighters. The Arena offers training in Boxing, MMA, Muay Thai, No Gi Jiu Jitsu and Wrestling. For more info on The Arena, go to http://www.TheArenaMMA.com


About the University of Jiu Jitsu – San Diego California

The University of Jiu Jitsu in San Diego California is owned by multiple time Jiu Jitsu World Champions Saulo and Xande Ribeiro. It is one of the Premier Jiu Jitsu schools in the world. The Ribeiro brothers teach full-time in their San Diego Jiu Jitsu academy, alongside their famed mentor Royler Gracie. For more info on the University of Jiu Jitsu, go to http://www.UNIJJ.com

About The Arena

The Arena is the largest gym in North America for Combat Sports and Martial Arts instruction.

Our Address

3350 Sports Arena Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92110 USA

Free Trial (A) Footer