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Nevada Athletic Commission to consider early weigh-in procedure

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

An era of weigh-in reform could be upon us.

The Nevada Athletic Commission, the most influential combat sports commission in the country, will consider adopting the early weigh-in rule currently being used by California and other jurisdictions at its next meeting Tuesday, NAC executive director Bob Bennett confirmed with MMA Fighting on Thursday.

The development was first reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The consideration has been added to the NAC meeting agenda s a request by Zuffa, the UFC's parent company. Of course, the UFC has its annual weeklong series of events coming to Las Vegas next month, culminating with UFC 200 on July 9 at the new T-Mobile Arena. UFC Fight Night: dos Anjos vs. Alvarez will be July 7 and The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale is July 8.

Bennett said the UFC will present the earlier weigh-in procedure to the commission and chairman Anthony Marnell and the other commissioners will vote on it. If passed, Bennett said, it would become available to other promoters in the state as well.

"If it's in the best interest of the health and safety of the fighters, that's something we'll consider," Bennett said.

The UFC first attempted an earlier weigh-in at UFC 199 in Los Angeles on June 3. Rather than fighters weighing in during a 4 p.m. live show, they weighed in between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. the day before the fight.

The new California regulation, recommended by doctors, is to give the athletes more time to rehydrate between the weigh-in and the fight after their weight cut. A byproduct is that with these new rules fighters don't have to wait dehydrated for hours before being transported to the venue and for the weigh-in show to begin. The early weigh-in allows athletes to step on the scale right in the fighter hotel and then they're done.

The UFC 199 early weigh-ins went off without a hitch and fighters seem to be unanimously in favor of it.

"Overwhelmingly positive about it," UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Novitzky told MMA Fighting. "They all love it and that's putting it mildly, actually. Real good things."

The UFC will still be hosting afternoon live weigh-in shows where the previously recorded weights will be announced and the fighters will pose and square off.

Novitzky said the UFC will discuss adopting the earlier weigh-in across the board. The UFC is bringing it to Ottawa this weekend for UFC Fight Night: MacDonald vs. Thompson. Commissions in Kansas and at Mohegan Sun have already used it for Bellator shows and Bellator 156 in Fresno, Calif., will also use it this weekend.

UFC 201 is scheduled for July 30 in Atlanta. George Athletic and Entertainment Commission (GAEC) executive director Matt Woodruff told MMA Fighting that the GAEC rules already allow weigh-ins to occur within 36 hours of the fights, but he said he has not spoken to the UFC about an earlier weigh-in as of yet.