This is an interesting subject. I wish MMA fights had same day weight ins. Or if they only allowed you to weigh x amount of weight the next day. Why? because a day before weigh in for an event means I can cut 20 pounds of water and fight in that weight class. This forces everyone to have to cut extreme amounts of weight in order to be competitive. Fighting someone that out weighs you by 20 pounds in a MMA fight with time limits puts you at a huge disadvantage.
But that isn't the subject of this post. Today's post is discussing should you cut weight for Jiu-Jitsu? In most Jiu-Jitsu tournaments it is same day weight ins. In the IBJJF you weight in minutes before you compete. So you don't have time to rehydrate. I personally prefer this.
The last time I competed I did not want to cut weight so I actually fought up a weight class. Fighting in the 222 pound weight class (with a GI on) despite weighting in under the 207.5 weight limit. This put me at a disadvantage but I really didn't want to cut weight. Keep in mind when I fought MMA I was in the 185 pound class. The next largest guy in that weight Class was (Babalu) Renato Sobral who fought at 205 pounds in the UFC.
What is your right weight class? That is a hard question to answer. Jiu-Jitsu we wear a GI which helps equalize the weight classes. For a white belt I don't think you should worry about what weight class you are in show up weight in and go. Blue Belt we need to start paying attention. Does your coach think you are being over powered. Is everyone taller then you are? Blue Belt adult worlds we need to have it dialed in 100% in order to be competitive. At purple belt and up it is even more imperative that you know your right weight class. Determining this can depend on a lot of things. How much body fat do you have? How clean is your diet already?
Ideally if you are within 5-6 pound of the weight class you should try to get under the upper limit of that class. In Jiu-Jitsu it is much smarter to start to lose weight with a super clean diet and cardio weeks or even months out from competition. Start to clean up the diet at a point where you can lose 1-2 pounds a week. And still have a couple weeks to train on weight before the competition. I have seen competitors try to do a water cut for Jiu-Jitsu and it never ends well. If you already have a super low body fat percentage then losing the weight may not be right for you. Finding the right weight class for yourself is very important.
Conclusion: In retrospect, it was a mistake giving up that much weight the last time I competed at worlds. It made it harder to win. If I had to do it again I would make sure that I was in the right weight class. I train against people of all different weights. But when it comes time to compete I think in order to give me my best chance to win I should not give up weight. The next time I compete I will make sure I am in the correct weight class. No reason to give up weight to other Black Belts when I step on the competiion mat.