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Nevada Athletic Commission approves earlier weigh-in for UFC 200, other UFC events

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The most influential commission in the country has given the go-ahead for earlier weigh-ins.

The Nevada Athletic Commission unanimously approved morning weigh-ins Tuesday at its meeting after a proposal from the UFC. The change in procedure will be in place for International Fight Week, which encompasses UFC 200, The Ultimate Fighter 23 Finale and UFC Fight Night: dos Anjos vs. Alvarez in July.

For those cards, fighters will be able to weigh-in between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. the day before the fight at the fighter hotel, rather than the usual time of 4 p.m. There will still be an afternoon "weigh-in" for broadcast where the official weights will be announced.

The UFC experimented with earlier weigh-ins at UFC 199 in Los Angeles earlier this month and last weekend in Ottawa. UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky said the positive reaction from fighters and fight teams has been "universal."

Doctors initially recommended this change late last year to the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC), which has approved the earlier weigh-in into law. Doctors say that giving fighters more time to rehydrate between the weigh-in and the fight is important for health and safety. It also allows fighters to spend less time dehydrated during their weight cut, rather than waiting for an afternoon weigh-in.

Novitzky said the UFC is still in a trial phase with this as a procedure, but the promotion is looking into making it a rule.

"We're leading in the direction of attempting to make this permanent, but I don't think we're there yet," Novitzky said.

Bellator MMA will also adopt this procedure for its Dynamite 2 event Friday in St. Louis. Bellator was the first to experiment with an earlier weigh-in in Kansas and at Mohegan Sun.

At the NAC meeting, commissioner Pat Lundvall expressed concern, like many have, that fighters will cut more weight if they know they have more time to rehydrate. Commission Michon Martin said if this was going to be a pilot program, she wanted to receive data from the earlier weigh-ins moving forward.

The commission agreed to re-evaluate this issue in a few months.

UFC 200 is set for July 9, the TUF 23 Finale for July 8 and UFC Fight Night 90 on July 7.