By Dave Madden @DMaddenMMA
Isaac Vallie-Flagg (15-6-1) formerly competed in the UFC as a lightweight and will again find himself under the Zuffa umbrella with the UFC’s continued seize of the MMA market. Vallie-Flagg’s fighting experience is not the only reason he is the perfect MMA competitor to discuss the UFC’s new ban on intranenous (IV) replenishment following the weight cutting process, but he is voraciously interested in ensuring fighters’ safety.
The UFC is not only at the front of the line when it comes to the world’s elite mixed martial artists, but they are also at the forefront of change within MMA. One addition that greatly benefits fans is the recent partnership between Titan Fighting Championships (Titan FC) and the UFC. This pairing means Titan FC’s upcoming card, Titan FC 34, will be a click away via the UFC’s membership site: UFC Fight Pass.
Another big change tagged by the UFC for this fall is the banning of IVs for fighters, which remains an unknown to both fans and fighters. As a special guest on Jon and Mike’s MMA Corner, Vallie-Flagg discussed why he is very concerned about the recent headlines announcing the UFC’s ban on a practice engrained in MMA: weight cutting. Vallie-Flagg, his opponent: Jason Witt (6-2-0), and the remaining hopeful on the Titan FC 34 card may not immediately by affected by the ban, but inching themselves closer to the UFC by fighting on UFC Fight Pass aligns everyone in the crosshairs of the issue.
As a veteran of the sport, Vallie-Flagg understands that playing the waiting game is a dangerous way to operate, so he plunged right into the artery of the issue,
“I think you see truer weight classes if you don’t do that [cut weight], but…right now, everybody cuts weight, everybody does it.”
Spinning plates on the end of a syringe is far more dangerous than the typical Cirque du Soleil technique, but the transition isn’t impossible with the proper allotment of time to prepare. According to Bloody Elbow (2015) the UFC’s ban on the use of an IV to rehydrate goes into effect on October 1, 2015, which means there aren’t many more flips of the calendar left. Vallie-Flagg argued that this new regulation to reversing the dehydration process has some serious consequences. He protested that everyone is missing the vein on this one,
“I applaud all the PED [performance enhancing drug] testing they’re doing and all the other testing they are doing, but I don’t think an IV ban is the way to go. IVs save a lot of fighters from some serious stuff. If you’re taking fluid away from the brain when you cut weight; if you can’t put that back and you can’t rehydrate, you’re really putting your fighters at a bigger risk.”
Moving away from IVs, the UFC is attempting to replenish the world of MMA with about 1,000 ccs of professionalism and mainstream appeal: Reebok’s UFC Fight Kits and drug testing policies-in and out of competition. Vallie-Flagg injected his perspective into this wave of change,
“I think what the UFC is doing with the uniforms and everything; they’re just as blind as everyone because they’ve never had to deal with it. Anytime the UFC takes a step in a direction, they’re just as clueless as anybody. It’s not a knock on them; they are just trying to make everything look more professional.”
As Vallie-Flagg noted, nothing is to degrade the UFC; he is simply concerned that the practice of cutting weight has become the norm. Vallie-Flagg concluded,
“Cutting weight isn’t healthy to begin with, but it’s the kind of thing that everyone is doing. To stay competitive, you can’t be a smaller version of that weight class.”
Having been there and done that in MMA, Vallie-Flagg realizes that he won’t even have a chance to take a stab at the UFC’s new weight cutting policy unless he executes the type of performance that UFC viewers expect to witness in his fight on Titan FC 34; otherwise he may wind up in the bio-hazard bin.
Check out this episode of Jon and Mike’s MMA Corner and others at
Bloody Elbow. 2015. Find at: