Again, I'm going to maintain that these numbers are inflated. I heard the same interviews, but the concept of putting on twenty pounds of weight in a day is totally bizarre to me, especially after the weight-cut.
When he fought GSP he said in at the prefight confrence call that he would walk into the cage at 195. GSP said he would walk in at 190. 25lbs of 195 is 13%.
Considering guys Fitch made Alves look tiny by comparison I would actually bet that Fitch cuts more than 15%
GSP said he was 190 for Alves and also said he had been bulking up before the Hardy fight so 195 seems in the appropriate vicinity.
There's a reason guys drink pedialyte afterwards. It isn't for the taste.
Alves is tricky to judge, because he has so many weight issues (plus the history of diuretics use), so I can believe something more flexible, like 190-195. Again, though, that these guys are putting on this much weight after a fight seems more myth to me.
I don't think the difference between Fitch and Alves was substantial in their weigh ins appearance. Fitch looked shredded (a lot of people also thought he looked gaunt, myself included; look at his face). But Alves is physically a lot thicker than Fitch, though that doesn't come across as clearly in the picture.
I am just going off the talk and Lesnar's camp have repeatedly said that he didn't cut weight for his last two fights.
This is what I mean about the stories getting out of control. Anthony Johnson came into training camp at 220 pounds. He did not make 44 pounds in one swing.
Anthony Johnson cut 30lbs the day of the weigh ins against Yoshida and actually tried to cut from 220 to 170 before only being able to make 176. Still that is 44 pounds cut by a WW who is 65 pounds lighter. I am not saying Lesnar is not gonna have difficulty but its incredibly realistic that he could make weight.
This is why I have a very hard time trusting the stories that I hear from camps relayed through the media, because they often don't make any sense.
Johnson is (by far) the largest welterweight in the UFC. He may be the largest welterweight in the world (certainly the largest, physically, that I've ever seen) and he has a great ability to cut weight, despite the issues with Yoshida, but he hit those issues cutting from around 200, which is significantly different than cutting from 220, where you might as well just start cutting off limbs.
I think Lesnar could make 235. I just don't think he'd ever want to. The consequences of putting a guy that big through a weightcut that strenuous is very, very rough, especially at his age. Johnson is 26, and he knows that at some point in his career, he's not going to be able to make the cut to welterweight anymore. Lesnar, by contrast, is 33. As you get older, that cut gets harder, it gets tougher to lose the weight and the toll it takes on your cardio is much higher (ask Mark Coleman; he knows as well as anybody).
That's a fair point.
There are but I don't see anybody campaigning to create a 195 pound division for the poor guys.
I expect this sport to get to a point, if the talent pool gets big enough, to have a weightclass ever ten pounds. But we're not there yet.
The split between 185-205 is, well, 40 pounds smaller than the heavyweight and lightheavyweight limits, and so the difference is significant. Just as guys do have the opportunity to try and span that gap in the lightheavyweight-middleweight division, they should try and span it in lightheavyweight-heavyweight division.
The reason they don't is because of that added 40 pounds they know they have to deal with. There are a few guys who have given it a swing in the past, but (and Brandon Vera is a case study) eventually they fight a guy that just kills the will ever to fight in that division again.
I'm actually not sure that there are that many who can get Cheick down to a place where he could safely make 205 with his cardio in tact. But that's really another discussion.
There are plenty of good trainers with knowledge that could guide Cheick through the process if he desired to do so.
I think you're shortselling the way that cutting weight would affect these big guys. I have no doubt that plenty of fighters would give it a shot, but the reality is that it takes a serious toll and that shows in the cage. The ideal weight for competing at 235 is about 250-255 pounds, with a grace period of about ten pounds for people with serious weight cutting experience, but the reality is that it penalizes the big guys seriously for attempting to obtain that strength advantage that they were just given before.
The reason they don't fight at HW is the same reason that the big HW's who can make the cut to 235 would. Most fighters try to obtain a size and strength advantage by cutting to the lowest division possible.
The match ups IMO stay the same. As I continue to believe that the bigger fighters would just have to struggle down and make the cut.
If big guys want to come down to 235 to be big guys, that's fine. That's what they should do. But it's better than forcing the middle-sized guys (Nogueira, Mir, etc.) to fight big guys with no substantive advantage.
Again: No one cuts 15% of their body mass. It's incredibly dangerous. It's incredibly wearing.
Apart from (as I pointed out earlier) my concerns about the number for Anthony Johnson, I totally agree. But the health risks of weight cutting are something that are totally independent of the particular weight divisions that exist. They are a by-product of the existence of weight divisions in and of themselves.
It may not be good for them but going back to Anthony Johnson when he fought Yoshida he cut 20% of his body mass. Your saying that 15% is incredibly hard on a person but in all honesty when we look at the weight some guys are cutting its becoming a scary trend in MMA to cut as much weight as possible instead of cutting what is reasonable. These fighters may not be acting in the best interests of there long term heath but we are seeing every division continue to grow in terms of the bigger guys in each division. Fighters seem to continue to look for any edge they can find and they are lighter fighters cutting just as much if not more weight to make there respective divisions than Lesnar or Carwin would have to.
Whatever the weightclasses were, this trend would materialize.
I totally agree. But the chances of Carwin getting back to a place where he's walking around at 260 pounds seems pretty unlikely to me.
Really Carwin weiged 259 when he fought Gonzaga. That is a 24 pound cut or about the same amount of weight GSP cuts to fight at 170. If Carwin got his weight back to were it was at that time not only would the cut be do able but it would actually be fairly reasonable by comparision.
He's an older guy, and it's certainly possible that he could make the decision that the mass is not good for his game (I probably would, if I were him) but somehow I don't see him making that decision. Unless that Lesnar fight really woke something up in him.
If it did, he absolutely could make 235. Also, I'm pretty sure he'd be smaller than Cain if he decided to start dropping weight.
And they keep in mind the cost of that edge on the other aspects of their game.
These guys all train hard though and like I said previously every fighter is always looking for any available edge.
Well, apart from looking at one case study (since Randy Couture is the king of anomalies), lets look at the history of the division.
Your right the LHW and HW divisions have that history but that is because the size difference has traditionally not been an issue. Tim Sylvia wasn't to big for Randy Couture. The size gap between HW ad LHW is often overstated.
Up until about 2002, you'd probably be right. After all, most of the heavyweight champions up to that point had been fighters who were around that 220 pound mark (Couture, Randleman, Smith, etc.) but the reality is that the UFC has had one undisputed champion under 240 pounds since Ricco Rodriguez won the title at UFC 32. (I double checked to make sure that Rodriguez was still over that weight at the time of the fight; he weighed in at 243).
It's obviously not impossible. Obviously, a little guy with great skills can beat a big ogre. The reality, though, is that there are very, very few successful heavyweights who are smaller and that, over the years, there has been a significant amount of growth in the size of those top heavyweights, and the need for that size in order to compete with those guys is significant.