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The Final Hours

Fighting; as a sport, as a passion comes with its own unique price tags. There are hours and hours training to go through. Then for the gluttony in me, there's also the clean eating that's always a struggle. But the worst of them all, to me at least, the weight cut.

You know, it may be abit logical to be writing about the experience, the sights and sounds of the event, or the sexy bits from the fight. But truthfully, the biggest obstacle, and the most memorable of all, for me, and I know for some of my other fellow fighters as well, is the weight cut. The fight, mostly, is the easier bit.

In perhaps a stressed up and confused state of mind, I asked Jack (@soonkueh) a question that I knew the answer all too well,

"What happens when a fighter doesn't make weight?"

I already knew the answer, but I needed to hear. Jack answered in a matter-of-fact manner that if the fighter didn't make weight at the first time he/she stands on the scale, normally there is a stipulated time frame to cut the remainder, else there will either be no fight, or a compromise.


I asked again,

"Have you ever had fighters that didn't make weight?"

Jack answered, "No. Onyx fighters always make weight. Always."

At this point in time, I was relatively juvenile to the concept of the weight cut, and honestly, for all my fights, I left it totally to Jack to manage and tell me what to do. Jack doesn't say much, but I knew I had to make weight one way or another.

10 December 2015, Thursday - 8:30pm (20 hours to weigh in)

I've been awake since 5am, and met Jack at the airport at 5:30am. We took 2 flights, and finally reached Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia in the late evening. All I had, was 2 Vicks candy during the flights, and my water allowance of the day was dictated to be 500ml. The flights didn't make it better.

We unpacked into our allocated rooms, and Jack brought out the gym's digital scale that flew on the trip with us.

52.8kg, with 20 hours more to the weigh-in and to make weight at 50.0kg.

I wasn't really starving, but I was really thirsty. There was still some time till the end of the night, and I thought I should probably start cutting earlier on. Jack and I sat in our small room, I told him I wanted to start cutting a little. Jack asked if I wanted the easy way or the hard way. I chose the easy way.

We were in a foreign country, in a room without a tub, and definitely no sauna. The tools we had for cutting weight were the sweat suit and a balcony. The easier way out, to Jack, was to sit for longer hours with the sweat suit. Conversely, the harder way out is to accelerate the sweating process but at a shorter duration.

Sweat suit on.

The "easy way" - sweat and wait.

I started doing light warm ups in the room (Arab's dynamic warm ups), and switched off the fan in the room. I'd break into a light sweat and sat down to watch shows on Jack's laptop. Every once in a while, I'd get up and prance around to keep the sweat going. Moving around originally was meant to keep the sweat going, but within an hour, moving around was a necessity to keep me awake. I'd often doze off, and Jack had to tell me to stand up and move around.

After 2 hours, the room became really hot and uncomfortable. Truthfully, the room didn't change one bit, but I felt that the room became hot. Beneath the sweat suit, I could hear my heart beat; clearly, loudly, and quickly. Jack decided that we're done for the night. I removed my sweat suit and stood on the weighing scale;

52.1kg. All that for just 700gm.

I didn't believe it, so I rested, showered, and changed into some dry clothes and weighed again. Still 52.1kg. I felt like shit, and I was stressed. I was worried, and I felt like crying. The fear of me not meeting weight was taking a toll on me. I looked at Jack for some answers and consolation, but he offered none. In fact, he looked satisfied, and nonchalantly told me, "good, now sleep.".

11 December 2015, Friday - 8:00am (8 hours to weigh in)

I woke up early, pee-ed out whatever water left in me, and stood on the scale again. 51.9kg.

Okay, 1.9kg more to go and I had 8 hours to the official weigh-in. I met Jack, and he asked if I was ready. I answered yes, but I'm not too sure. The Sandakan sun was out, and it scorched the skin. Jack thinks that it's a great weather to be cutting weight.

The "balcony" that was right in front of my room.

Sweat suit on.