Alves has never walked into the cage above 200 pounds after making 170. I don't know where that rumor has come from, but it's patently ridiculous. Even after missing weight against Hughes and Fitch, it's doubtful that he came in higher than 190. I don't know where the rumors are coming from, but 200 pounds is nuts.
Uncommon maybe but its definately done. There were rumors that Thiago Alves was walking into the cage at over 200lbs and going into camp even heavier. GSP usually walks into the cage at around 185 but has said he is bulking up to deal with the bigger WW's and the rumors going into the Hardy fight were that he would walk into the cage at nearly 195lbs. If that is true then we are looking at 13% or more than Lesnar would have to cut. Lesnar's team has said he walked into his last two fights at 265 without any cutting in the traditional sense.
Again, St. Pierre at 195 is an enormous stretch. At 15% you're talking about GSP cutting basically 30 pounds to make weight. Nobody puts that 30 pounds back on overnight, and I doubt Jackson would suggest that he'd cut that much in a single session. There are serious health risks, and he would be very, very slow walking into the cage that dense.
Just to be clear, Lesnar does cut to 265. He doesn't cut as much as he used to, since the illness, but he still cuts to 265. If he were going into training camp at 265, or even coming into the fight around there, he'd be fine in terms of weight.
Again, Lesnar isn't starting at 265 pounds. He may weight 265 when he walks back into the cage, but he still cuts to get there. He's not going to lose weight down to a raw 255 or whatever he needs and then cut an additional 20 pounds, which would be a more than reasonable range.
I see very little reason as to why he could not make 235.
Even using your 10% number we are looking at 258.5 pounds. With a one pound weight allowance we are down to less than 7 pounds or a mere 2% of his body mass. Lesnar may have to shed a few pounds at worse but making 235 from 265 is very realistic compared to the weight cuts of other fighters.
If he did, his athleticism would suffer. I doubt we'd see fighters like Lesnar take that risk and, frankly, I doubt that he could do it for an extend period of time with any substantial results.
There are plenty of lightheavyweights who can make the middleweight limit, but opt to stay up, or take a few fights and then decide to stay at lightheavyweight, because of the difficulty of the cut.
There are other reasons why Cheick can't make lightheavyweight, even from the lean 230 he's around right now.
The thing is while a few HW's like JDS or Cain could possibly be considered borderline in the current HW field many of the smaller ones such as Kongo are fighting in the HW division for unknown reasons. Kongo wouldn't even have to cut weight he would come in 7lbs under. If Kongo feels his size puts him at a disadvantage for him the LHW division is easily reachable using your 10% analogy its still easily do able.
Obviously, all of this is dependent on build. 10% is a generous figure applied to people with wrestling experience. Cheick doesn't have the best build for cutting weight and doesn't have the wrestling experience to know how to do it easily, so it becomes a serious problem very quickly.
Again, the heavyweight division becomes far more complicated that the difference between 155 and 170. The difference, proportionally, between heavyweight and lightheavyweight may seem to make up for it, but it doesn't.
Your looking to fill the new cruiserweight division but neglecting the fact that the HW division would be hollow at best and dead at worst. The big LHW's are larger men than many of the smaller HW's. The fact some fighters are caught in the middle is not a probelem we have not seen at other weight divisions in the past heck Elite XC created a 160lb division strictly because Nick Diaz at the time was stuck in the middle were 155 was to hard a cut and he wasn't filled out enough for 170. The fact that Nick put on some weight and has even had success above 170 in Strikeforce IMO just proves that Elite XC's 160lb division wasn't necessary. Your trying to fit a division to fighters when they should be working on fitting themselves into there divisions.
There are plenty of lightheavyweights who are bigger than the smaller heavyweights, and should be fighting those heavyweights, but don't want to move into the heavyweight division permanently because it isn't a good long term plan, even if there are a few fights there that are great matchups because of the similar size.
Similarly, there are plenty of heavyweights who thrive on giving up that size advantage in favor of speed. But that is pretty rare. The existence of a cruiserweight division would encourage those fighters to fight more competitive, difficult matchups instead of relying on bigger, slower opponents, but also offer the outlet of a bigger, slower heavyweight division where someone like a Frank Mir, who likes that style matchup most of the time, would have to test himself against more difficult versions of it.
Again: No one cuts 15% of their body mass. It's incredibly dangerous. It's incredibly wearing.
I understand your math but if I am saying a fighter cuts 15% of his mass to make 235 you need to ignore 235. 270*.15 (15%) = 40lbs. Your looking at a fighter gaining 15% not losing it and the math isn't the same.
It's not impossible, but when fighters do it there are serious consequences for their cardio.
Again, Lesnar is not at 280. He still cuts to 265. The math is still not good for him.
According to Lesnar's camp he isn't coming in at 280 anymore and considering Carwin was under the 265 pound cap before bulking up to fight Lesnar I see little reason he couldn't shed some muscle and return to his old weight.(Carwin was fighting at about 259 before he bulked up).
The same is true for Carwin. Could Carwin cut to 235? Probably.
You know how he would look afterwards? Imagine a young Lou Ferrigno playing the Grim Reaper.
I don't think so. The penalty in cardio at 265 is pricey for many of these guys and they barely have the gas tank to lose. Cutting gets very difficult very quickly for guys who have to put their body through that strain, especially if their not used to it.
The fact is thought that the major advantage these big guys have is the strength advantage they enjoy and even with losing some strength due to the cut they would still enjoy that advantage. Guys like Lesnar would lose there biggest advantage by choosing to stay in the HW division making a move down only seem rationale.
You might see a few try it, but most of the true heavyweights are not going to opt to stay in their weightclass.
The list of interesting prospects is extensive. If the UFC were good at signing guys, they'd have them. The talent is out there.
Who do they recruit to fill the void? Even outside the UFC its not like the monster HW's are everywhere. It seems to me that the last couple years the UFC has been looking for huge HW's but outside of Lesnar, Carwin, Tod Duffee, Sean McCorkle and Tim Hague they haven't been really successful.
Dan Cormier is a professional. Tony Johnson Jr. has come up. So has Soa Palelei. All three are well within striking distance. Bellator has a few solid guys.
And then there's always the possibility of recruiting out of the NFL, which the UFC seems to really like the idea of doing.
In the lightheavyweight and heavyweight division, there's a long tradition of cross-competition. I know my history on the subject, and so do you.
How many MW's are moving up? LW's? WW's? Why are you so confident this divsion would be different. You can't look at a potential division and play fantasy matchmaker while ignoring historical trends which have few fighters jumping divisions.
If its a one off fight I see little reason why a catchweight boute is not an acceptable alternative.
Randleman, Couture, Liddell, Coleman, and those are just the guys who held belts in one (or both, in Randy's case) division who cross that threshold between heavyweight and lightheavyweight when the heavyweight division was more limited in the size of competitors. I have no reason to think that the existence of a cruiserweight division wouldn't look that way.
The lightweight/welterweight bridge is the only one that has seen some similar sort of maleability, but that's not surprising either. The welterweight, middleweight, and lightheavyweight division traditionally have about a three inch height difference between the average fighter, so guys tend to be more sure about their own weightclass, though that has changed a little bit in recent years.