The Diaries of a Rebel Ivy League PhD Student Preparing for his First Muay Thai Bout
This piece is the fourth entry in a six part mini series detailing the journey of Paul Muniz, an Ivy League PhD student preparing for his first Muay Thai bout. Paul will make his amateur debut at Friday Night Fights on February 28th, 2014 at the Broad Street Ballroom in New York City.
The final dehydration phase of a weight cut is sometimes referred to by fighters as “the hard part.” Despite all the nerves surrounding the fight itself, we look forward to fight night. In contrast, I’ve never met a fighter who was excited to wring themselves dry just to hit an artificially low weight that isn’t even close to a true reflection of what they will weigh when the first bell rings the next evening. My weight cut for this event was no exception. It sucked.
My team and I planned carefully for things to go smoothly. On the morning of wei gh ins, I was 152lbs and I had to be 145lb by 6pm. Losing seven pounds over the course of a day is by no means trivial, but it would be considered by most to be a moderate weight cut. One of my training partners met with me at a local fitness center where he planned out my sauna sessions to get me down to 145lb quickly and effectively. All we had to do was three to four 15-minute sessions, referred to as “clips”, in the sauna with five minute breaks in between.
We finished session number four and I stripped down and hopped on the scale. I was still 150lb, five pounds away from where I needed to be! I was starting to feel light headed and dizzy and I was worried that I would not make weight.
At this point, I was lucky to have my training partner with me. It took two 15-minute sessions in the hot tub, one more sauna session, and two steam room sessions (on top of the initial 4 sauna sessions) to get it done, but I walked out of the facility on weight!
Going to the weigh ins was an awesome experience. Friday Night Fights is a combined amateur/professional promotion, so I weighed in with some of the best fighters in the game. I was a little bit “sucked out” from the weight cut, but I have over 24 hours to rehydrate and refuel.
Check out the fights tonight, Friday February 28th, starting at 8pm live online and for free at