Rising Kiwi mixed martial artist Genah Fabian has been forced to withdraw from her bout in the Professional Fighters League playoffs due to illness and issues with her weight cut.
Fabian was scheduled to fight in the semifinals of the women's lightweight division against American and tournament favourite Kayla Harrison in Las Vegas on Saturday (NZ time), with a shot at the US$1 million winner's purse on the line.
While Fabian wanted to fight on her coach Kirian Fitzgibbons, of California's Combat Sports Academy Gym, made the tough call to take her off the card and take her to a nearby hospital.
"As her coach, it was my decision to stop her weight cut and have her taken to the hospital this morning," Fitzgibbons said in a post on Facebook. "She wanted to continue but based on what I and the team was seeing, I made the judgement call to air on the side of my fighters safety, it's a call that always sucks to have to decide, but one that I will always make."
Canadian Bobbi-Jo Dalziel, who beat Fabian by decision in the opening round of the tournament, will take the Kiwi's place against Harrison.
This isn't the first time Fabian has had issues with cutting weight, but it is the first for some time. Speaking to the Herald earlier in the year, she said fighting at lightweight (70kg) was generally a good weight for her to cut down to, but had cut down to featherweight (65.7kg) in the past.
"I've been through some really tough weight cuts and it's really effected my body and my health over the years, especially being a women with our hormones and things like that."
Weight cuts are a regular feature in mixed martial arts, with fighters having to make a certain weight to fight in that division. In its simplest form, weight cutting is a process carried out by fighters that consists of dehydrating the body as much as possible in preparation for an upcoming bout. Once the fighter has weighed in, they immediately being rehydrating and often put weight back on between the weigh in and the fight.
They can vary in severity, with some fighters opting to drop just a few pounds and fight in a division close to their natural weight, while others endure larger weight cuts to fight in a division below their natural class.
Liverpool UFC star Darren Till has shared his issues with cutting weight in the past, revealing his cuts down to the 77kg welterweight limit would at times make him blind. Till has since moved up to the middleweight (84kg) division.