Health and safety

Important health and safety information including the dangers associated with weight cutting, best practices for combat sport gyms, understanding concussion and female athlete health considerations. 

Contestant Safety Strategy to Address Rapid Weight Loss (Weight Cutting) by Dehydration

Weight cutting is a dangerous practice often inappropriately undertaken in combat sports.

This is where contestants rapidly decrease their body weight before weigh-ins through excessive dehydration, for the purpose of gaining an advantage by competing in a weight class artificially below what could be achieved through diet and training.

Contestants then attempt to regain the ‘lost’ weight in the time between the weigh-in and the contest (usually about 24 hours in Western Australia), with the intention of being ‘heavier’ than their opponent in the contest.

Many physical and mental symptoms occur as a result of weight cutting by dehydration which are harmful to all contestants.

In addition, while contestants may be able to regain most or all of the rapidly lost weight, research suggests that contestants are not adequately hydrated at the time of the contest. This creates an increased risk of injury, which can prove fatal.

For further information, download the resources from this page or contact the Commission on 61 8 6552 6104 or

Download materials

Joining a combat sports gym?

Trainers and gym owners

Concussion in combat sports by the Fighting Foundation


Fighting Foundation and the Association of Ringside Physicians provide the following factsheets:

Concussion in sport by the Australian Sports Commission


Concussion in Sport Australia brings together the most contemporary evidence-based information on concussion for athletes, coaches/trainers, medical practitioners and parents as provided below. A valuable and trusted resource for the management of sports-related concussion for all Australians, regardless of the sport, location or level of participation.

Female Athlete Performance and Health Initiative

The Australian Institute of Sport has partnered with specialist medical practitioners, high performance athletes and high performance coaches to design a suite of online learning modules for athletes, parents, coaches and medical practitioners. These modules aim to increase your knowledge about the menstrual cycle, menstrual abnormalities, puberty and hormonal contraception.

Pregnancy testing

To ensure the safety of female contestants, all female contestants aged 16 years and above will be required to submit a pregnancy test to the medical practitioner at the time of the weigh-in. A contestant who returns a positive test or fails to or refuses to provide a sample will not be allowed to compete and will be withdrawn from the fight card immediately.

Page reviewed 07 September 2023