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Old 12-08-2010, 07:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Create the Cruiserweight Division

I have long advocated (on this board and other places) for the creation of a cruiserweight division. I've decided that since we are opening this section up (and since I've been here forever) I might be the first to take her for a spin with an argument that seems well worth having.

So the propositions on the table are this:


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1) Mainstream MMA needs a division between the heavyweight and lightheavyweight division.
2) That division should be a cruiserweight division @ 235 pounds.
So, let's have at it!

EDIT: You can disagree with the second part of that. That is my division and, though reasoned, I've heard other numbers. If you do have another number, though, justify it. I will justify mine in due course.
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Old 12-09-2010, 12:46 PM   #2 (permalink)

 
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I strongly disagree with this proposition. While many will look at the likes of Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar and use there obvious size advantage over the likes of Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos as "proof" that there is a need for a split of the HW division. I take issue with this fact based on one major facet obviously being that despite a huge increase in recent years the sheer number of legitimate HW's running around that would compare to the size of Carwin or Lesnar are few and far between. This number drops substantially when you star taking weight cutting into account. Big LHW's are walking around at 235+. Thiago Alves cuts from over 200lbs to make 170 that is 30 pounds of weight cut and yet when he fought Fitch he was the smaller WW of the two. If the likes of Fitch and Alves can lose 30lbs than you have to assume that HW's like Lesnar could do the same. Taking into account the 200lbs a guy like Alves, Fitch or Anthony Johnson would walk into the cage at then your looking at them cutting about 15% of there body mass. Using this index and assuming all things are equal then a guy like Lesnar walking in currently at 265 pounds would have a easier time cutting the 11% that they would need to lose to make 235 and maintain the size advantage they currently enjoy. If we are looking at This leaves you looking at who would really be forced to fight in the 265lb division. Using the analogies of some of the bigger fighters in other divisions we have established some of the larger cuts are up to 15% body mass which means even a 276 pound fighter could in theory make your new found cruiserweight division. Using this logic your new found cruiserweight division basically becomes the current HW division with the only difference being that these larger men are now cutting weight which only leads to further hurt there cardio. Does a group of fighters where good cardio tends to be the exception and not the norm really need to further stress these guys bodies? The only losers here would be the fans. The current 265 pound division would end up filled by either the talent lacking current SHW division or by those to lazy to get into appropriate shape to make the cut.
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Old 12-09-2010, 01:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Toxic View Post
I strongly disagree with this proposition. While many will look at the likes of Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar and use there obvious size advantage over the likes of Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos as "proof" that there is a need for a split of the HW division. I take issue with this fact based on one major facet obviously being that despite a huge increase in recent years the sheer number of legitimate HW's running around that would compare to the size of Carwin or Lesnar are few and far between. This number drops substantially when you star taking weight cutting into account. Big LHW's are walking around at 235+. Thiago Alves cuts from over 200lbs to make 170 that is 30 pounds of weight cut and yet when he fought Fitch he was the smaller WW of the two. If the likes of Fitch and Alves can lose 30lbs than you have to assume that HW's like Lesnar could do the same. Taking into account the 200lbs a guy like Alves, Fitch or Anthony Johnson would walk into the cage at then your looking at them cutting about 15% of there body mass. Using this index and assuming all things are equal then a guy like Lesnar walking in currently at 265 pounds would have a easier time cutting the 11% that they would need to lose to make 235 and maintain the size advantage they currently enjoy.
There seems to be some confusion about the difference between the weight that a fighter "walks around at" and the amount of weight that a fighter cuts. There are fighters who will come into a training camp weighing 15% over their fighting weight (in the case of Anthony Johnson, there are reports that he's at much as 25-30% over when he starts camp), but rarely do fighters cut more than 10% of their body weight on the day of the fight.

If someone like Brock Lesnar wanted to cut to 235, he's welcome to give it a try, but I'd hazard the guess that his camp would say its simply not possible for him.

Cain, who comes in about 250 around fight time nowadays at heavyweight, would have an easy time, as he'd have to cut well under 10% of his bodyweight. The same is true for guys like Dos Santos and even Cheick Kongo, who are borderline.

It also lets those larger lightheavyweights who couldn't contemplate stepping into the heavyweight division before, because they'd be giving up 50 pounds, (220-230 at fight time vs. 275-2980, which is not uncommon in the current heavyweight division) step into a division where the most they're going to be giving up is 25-30 pounds, an advantage that we've seen in middleweight and welterweight fights before.


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If we are looking at This leaves you looking at who would really be forced to fight in the 265lb division. Using the analogies of some of the bigger fighters in other divisions we have established some of the larger cuts are up to 15% body mass which means even a 276 pound fighter could in theory make your new found cruiserweight division.
Actually, just so we're clear on the numbers, 15% of 235 is a little over 35 pounds. If you maintain that fighters can cut 15% of their bodyweight then they could, theoretically, come down from 270.

By the way, that excludes both Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin (not to mention plenty of other true heavyweights) who come into camp at 280.

I don't doubt, actually, that Lesnar or Carwin could find ways to lose the weight and make 235. I seriously doubt that they'd want to. The amount of cardio that it would take out of them to make that weight, the amount of strength that they would lose, would discourage that cut enough.


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Using this logic your new found cruiserweight division basically becomes the current HW division with the only difference being that these larger men are now cutting weight which only leads to further hurt there cardio. Does a group of fighters where good cardio tends to be the exception and not the norm really need to further stress these guys bodies? The only losers here would be the fans. The current 265 pound division would end up filled by either the talent lacking current SHW division or by those to lazy to get into appropriate shape to make the cut.
See, I doubt that.

There are a substantial number of true heavyweights who have no interest in cutting to 235, and who probably physically couldn't anyway without serious health risks. Lesnar and Carwin would certainly be left before, along with many of the other true-heavies. Now, the problem is that there isn't a whole lot of good talent in that division. That's a real obstacle, but it's not insoluble. The UFC needs to recruit better in that division anyway.

The cruiserweight division, though, would get really exciting, really quickly. You get Cain Velasquez in there with most of his serious competition, and you have the opportunity to actually have lightheavyweight come up and challenge guys in the heavyweight division.

There's discussion about getting Jones or Machida or even Anderson Silva to fight a Frank Mir or Cheick Kongo. That only happens in the cruiserweight division. It never happens in the open waters of the heavyweight division where the smaller guy isn't guaranteed an opponent of predictable, reasonable size.
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Old 12-09-2010, 02:10 PM   #4 (permalink)

 
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Originally Posted by IronMan View Post
There seems to be some confusion about the difference between the weight that a fighter "walks around at" and the amount of weight that a fighter cuts. There are fighters who will come into a training camp weighing 15% over their fighting weight (in the case of Anthony Johnson, there are reports that he's at much as 25-30% over when he starts camp), but rarely do fighters cut more than 10% of their body weight on the day of the fight.
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.
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If someone like Brock Lesnar wanted to cut to 235, he's welcome to give it a try, but I'd hazard the guess that his camp would say its simply not possible for him.
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.


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Cain, who comes in about 250 around fight time nowadays at heavyweight, would have an easy time, as he'd have to cut well under 10% of his bodyweight. The same is true for guys like Dos Santos and even Cheick Kongo, who are borderline.
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.
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It also lets those larger lightheavyweights who couldn't contemplate stepping into the heavyweight division before, because they'd be giving up 50 pounds, (220-230 at fight time vs. 275-2980, which is not uncommon in the current heavyweight division) step into a division where the most they're going to be giving up is 25-30 pounds, an advantage that we've seen in middleweight and welterweight fights before.
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.
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Actually, just so we're clear on the numbers, 15% of 235 is a little over 35 pounds. If you maintain that fighters can cut 15% of their bodyweight then they could, theoretically, come down from 270.
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.
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By the way, that excludes both Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin (not to mention plenty of other true heavyweights) who come into camp at 280.
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).
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I don't doubt, actually, that Lesnar or Carwin could find ways to lose the weight and make 235. I seriously doubt that they'd want to. The amount of cardio that it would take out of them to make that weight, the amount of strength that they would lose, would discourage that cut enough.
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.


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See, I doubt that.

There are a substantial number of true heavyweights who have no interest in cutting to 235, and who probably physically couldn't anyway without serious health risks. Lesnar and Carwin would certainly be left before, along with many of the other true-heavies. Now, the problem is that there isn't a whole lot of good talent in that division. That's a real obstacle, but it's not insoluble. The UFC needs to recruit better in that division anyway.
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.

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The cruiserweight division, though, would get really exciting, really quickly. You get Cain Velasquez in there with most of his serious competition, and you have the opportunity to actually have lightheavyweight come up and challenge guys in the heavyweight division.
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.
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There's discussion about getting Jones or Machida or even Anderson Silva to fight a Frank Mir or Cheick Kongo. That only happens in the cruiserweight division. It never happens in the open waters of the heavyweight division where the smaller guy isn't guaranteed an opponent of predictable, reasonable size.
If its a one off fight I see little reason why a catchweight boute is not an acceptable alternative.
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Old 12-09-2010, 04:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Toxic View Post
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.
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.

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.


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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.
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.

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.


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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.
There are other reasons why Cheick can't make lightheavyweight, even from the lean 230 he's around right now.

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.


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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.
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.

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.


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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.
Again: No one cuts 15% of their body mass. It's incredibly dangerous. It's incredibly wearing.

It's not impossible, but when fighters do it there are serious consequences for their cardio.


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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).
Again, Lesnar is not at 280. He still cuts to 265. The math is still not good for him.

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.


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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.
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.

You might see a few try it, but most of the true heavyweights are not going to opt to stay in their weightclass.


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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.
The list of interesting prospects is extensive. If the UFC were good at signing guys, they'd have them. The talent is out there.

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.


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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.
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.

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.
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Old 12-09-2010, 07:09 PM   #6 (permalink)

 
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Originally Posted by IronMan View Post
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.
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%
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
If 190-195lb pound GSP can drop 20lbs - 25lbs with ease and easily run the full 25 minutes I fail to see how Lesnar who is one and a half times his size losing a mere 5 pounds more is so difficult.
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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 but I don't see anybody campaigning to create a 195 pound division for the poor guys.


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There are other reasons why Cheick can't make lightheavyweight, even from the lean 230 he's around right now.

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.
There are plenty of good trainers with knowledge that could guide Cheick through the process if he desired to do so.

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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.

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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.
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.
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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.
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.


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Again: No one cuts 15% of their body mass. It's incredibly dangerous. It's incredibly wearing.

It's not impossible, but when fighters do it there are serious consequences for their cardio.
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.


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Again, Lesnar is not at 280. He still cuts to 265. The math is still not good for him.

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.
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.


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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.
These guys all train hard though and like I said previously every fighter is always looking for any available edge.
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The list of interesting prospects is extensive. If the UFC were good at signing guys, they'd have them. The talent is out there.

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.



Soa Palelei? I haven't seen his recent fights but he hardly impressed in the past his fight with Eddie Sanchez is still one of the most horrible bouts in UFC history. The talent is somewhat improving but the number of "true" HW's as you see it are still pretty thin.
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.

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.
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
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Toxic View Post
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.
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.

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.


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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.
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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 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.

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).


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There are but I don't see anybody campaigning to create a 195 pound division for the poor guys.
That's a fair point.

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.


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There are plenty of good trainers with knowledge that could guide Cheick through the process if he desired to do so.
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.

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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.
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.

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.

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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.
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.

Whatever the weightclasses were, this trend would materialize.


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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.
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.

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.


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These guys all train hard though and like I said previously every fighter is always looking for any available edge.
And they keep in mind the cost of that edge on the other aspects of their game.

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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.
Well, apart from looking at one case study (since Randy Couture is the king of anomalies), lets look at the history of the division.

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.
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:38 PM   #8 (permalink)

 
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Originally Posted by IronMan View Post
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.
The Alves being at 195, GSP at 185 for there fight and the Rumble numbers for the Yoshida fight are straight from them. I see little reason for them to exagerate.
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There's a reason guys drink pedialyte afterwards. It isn't for the taste.
I know pedialyte is great if your dehydrated I drink a bottle before I got to bed after drinking all night to avoid a hang over. (works great)
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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.
A lot of these guys are also taking fluids intravenously because its just not possible to drink that much.
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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 didn't think the size difference appeared that great at the weigh ins but I remember watching the fight being amazed at how much bigger Fitch looks. The guy is massive for a WW and appears to me to be getting into the Rumble size range.



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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.
I was going off the numbers Johnson gave in a interview were he said he missed weight due to a failed experiment were he tried to cut from 220 and that he was 200 on the day of the weigh ins.
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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.
Like I said I am going off the numbers Johnson himself gave as a reason for his missing weight. Sounds incredibly dangerous and stupid but again I fail to see why he would lie.
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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).
Coleman was substantially older than Lesnar is and he only looked that terrible from the cut against Shogun. He looked bad in his other fights because well he is just plain old and beat up.

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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.[/font]
The thing is that you like many people look at the divsions as hard lines. There is nothing saying a MW has to weigh in at 185. Diego Sanchez could choose not to cut any weight and move up to MW and fight at as low as 171 pounds. You could have 171 pound Sanchez fight a guy like Nate Marquardt at MW. It would not be a fair fight but that would be due to Sanchez not using the available weight divisions and a fighters ability and option to cut weight to the fullest. I have little sympathy for a guy like Cheick Kongo who is a relatively small HW because if he chose to go that route he could be a large LHW.


[/quote]

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. [/quote] If you want to argue lowering the HW weight cap in order to even the playing field by forcing the big guys to cut more weight than that is a different discussion entirely. As it stands many of these big guys are successful because of that size and strength advantage and without it there fights become a battle of skills and lets be honest most of them all not on the level of some of the smaller HW's and fighters in other divisions.
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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.
Mir has bulked up to the point he is not longer considered a small HW, at over 250lbs he is a decent sized HW. This is something some of these guys should consider. Your faulting the big HW's because the smaller guys are not taking full advantage of there options.
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Again: No one cuts 15% of their body mass. It's incredibly dangerous. It's incredibly wearing.
I have obviously never attempted it myself but there are fighters who are claiming they do which disputes your statement.

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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.

Whatever the weightclasses were, this trend would materialize.
But in this case in my opinion it becomes a pointless exercise that only serves to hurt the quality of fights and endanger fighter safety. I think you would see for the most part the exact same fighters fighting the exact same fighters just with more guys cutting weight.



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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.

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.
Honestly I think the odds are actually better. I thought the Lesnar fight had to open his eyes to the fact that the additional muscle came with a significant price in his bodies ability to provide oxygen to those muscles. I fully expect that Carwin will come back much closer to his earlier UFC weight upon his return.
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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.
I don't think we will see Carwin as low as 240 but I think seeing him back around that 260lb mark is the best fit for him as obviously like Mir his experiment with bulking up substantially failed.



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Well, apart from looking at one case study (since Randy Couture is the king of anomalies), lets look at the history of the division.

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).
But is it really necessary that the 230lbs heavyweights be competitive? For the most part LHW is in reach to the small HW's. They have other options but make a choice. If we lived in a world were weigh ins were immediately before the fights a split in the division may make sense but right now it accomplished little IMO.
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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.
The fact is that it isn't a growth in the size of top HW's as much as an increase in the quality of athlete we are seeing. To me though the question is more if some of these smaller HW's need to reevaluate there choice of weight class. Some may have to drop to LHW, some may have to bulk up to continue to compete but I believe fighters should be making better use of these weight classes instead of looking for a hand out weight class.
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Old 12-10-2010, 12:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Toxic View Post
The Alves being at 195, GSP at 185 for there fight and the Rumble numbers for the Yoshida fight are straight from them. I see little reason for them to exagerate.
Again, you're missing a distinction here.

Johnson talks about "cutting from 220" in this interview in this interview, but he's talking about the weight that he loses over the course of training camp. It's clear from the context of the interview, and when you note that he's at 185 a week before the Koscheck fight.



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I know pedialyte is great if your dehydrated I drink a bottle before I got to bed after drinking all night to avoid a hang over. (works great)
A lot of these guys are also taking fluids intravenously because its just not possible to drink that much.
I didn't think the size difference appeared that great at the weigh ins but I remember watching the fight being amazed at how much bigger Fitch looks. The guy is massive for a WW and appears to me to be getting into the Rumble size range.
I don't feel that way. I rewatched the bout. Again, it's a function of Fitch being taller and learner than the stockier Alves.

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I was going off the numbers Johnson gave in a interview were he said he missed weight due to a failed experiment were he tried to cut from 220 and that he was 200 on the day of the weigh ins.
Like I said I am going off the numbers Johnson himself gave as a reason for his missing weight. Sounds incredibly dangerous and stupid but again I fail to see why he would lie.
This is why the notion that GSP regularly cuts from 195 seems patently ridiculous to me. Because a 30 pound weightcut attempt in one day on the part of Johnson hit a ceiling at 26 pounds.

Also, because Johnson is so much bigger than GSP.


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Coleman was substantially older than Lesnar is and he only looked that terrible from the cut against Shogun. He looked bad in his other fights because well he is just plain old and beat up.
Yes, he is 10 years older. He's also not nearly starting from as far away as Lesnar is.

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The thing is that you like many people look at the divsions as hard lines. There is nothing saying a MW has to weigh in at 185. Diego Sanchez could choose not to cut any weight and move up to MW and fight at as low as 171 pounds. You could have 171 pound Sanchez fight a guy like Nate Marquardt at MW. It would not be a fair fight but that would be due to Sanchez not using the available weight divisions and a fighters ability and option to cut weight to the fullest. I have little sympathy for a guy like Cheick Kongo who is a relatively small HW because if he chose to go that route he could be a large LHW.
Again, I don't think that Kongo can make 205. I don't think his body will allow him to do it.

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If you want to argue lowering the HW weight cap in order to even the playing field by forcing the big guys to cut more weight than that is a different discussion entirely. As it stands many of these big guys are successful because of that size and strength advantage and without it there fights become a battle of skills and lets be honest most of them all not on the level of some of the smaller HW's and fighters in other divisions.
You'll get no argument here. I'm assuming that last clause is: "Let's be honest, most of them are not on the level of some of the smaller HW's..."

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Mir has bulked up to the point he is not longer considered a small HW, at over 250lbs he is a decent sized HW. This is something some of these guys should consider. Your faulting the big HW's because the smaller guys are not taking full advantage of there options.
I have obviously never attempted it myself but there are fighters who are claiming they do which disputes your statement.
I've seen 155 pound grapplers submit 200+ pound behemoths. I've never seen a 155 pound grappler submit someone with a significant size advantage and a similar skillset (unless you count Garcia vs. Van Arsdale at ADCC, but that's a pretty serious stretch, too). There is a point at which, believe it or not, even a basic skill level allows for the undermining of superior technical skills.

The limitations of size are notable.




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But in this case in my opinion it becomes a pointless exercise that only serves to hurt the quality of fights and endanger fighter safety. I think you would see for the most part the exact same fighters fighting the exact same fighters just with more guys cutting weight.
This is predicated on your point that (a) everyone can make weight and that (b) everyone who can make weight will continue to do it for as long as possible, which is what I'm trying to show is not correct

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Honestly I think the odds are actually better. I thought the Lesnar fight had to open his eyes to the fact that the additional muscle came with a significant price in his bodies ability to provide oxygen to those muscles. I fully expect that Carwin will come back much closer to his earlier UFC weight upon his return.
I don't think we will see Carwin as low as 240 but I think seeing him back around that 260lb mark is the best fit for him as obviously like Mir his experiment with bulking up substantially failed.
I think that's probably the likeliest opportunity, too. But I'm not sure he can regain the all-around athleticism at this point, and I'm not sure he can get it.

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But is it really necessary that the 230lbs heavyweights be competitive? For the most part LHW is in reach to the small HW's. They have other options but make a choice. If we lived in a world were weigh ins were immediately before the fights a split in the division may make sense but right now it accomplished little IMO.
Yes, it is necessary that 230-240 pound heavyweights remain relevant because, as we've seen with Brandon Vera (to name one) fighters do not always successfully translate their game

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The fact is that it isn't a growth in the size of top HW's as much as an increase in the quality of athlete we are seeing. To me though the question is more if some of these smaller HW's need to reevaluate there choice of weight class. Some may have to drop to LHW, some may have to bulk up to continue to compete but I believe fighters should be making better use of these weight classes instead of looking for a hand out weight class.
Again, you're asserting that all of these guys can cut to lightheavyweight, and I'm not sure that they all can without jeopardizing their ability to perform.

It's not a "hand out weight class" for a group of fighters. A "hand out weight class" seems like something that's created for one fighter (like Nick Diaz or Gina Carano). Clearly, this isn't that.

If you create a weightclass that has a substantial number of competitive fighters, then isn't that, by virtue of having a lot of competitive fighters. Which, by the way, you argued it would, since you've argued that it wouldn't exclude any competitive heavyweights.
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Old 12-10-2010, 01:21 AM   #10 (permalink)

 
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Originally Posted by IronMan View Post
Again, you're missing a distinction here.

Johnson talks about "cutting from 220" in this interview in this interview, but he's talking about the weight that he loses over the course of training camp. It's clear from the context of the interview, and when you note that he's at 185 a week before the Koscheck fight.

That isn't the interview I was refering to, I will try to find it again but in it he was saying how he typically would have been 185 by Wednesday but when he fought Yoshida he was still 198 the night before weigh ins.

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I don't feel that way. I rewatched the bout. Again, it's a function of Fitch being taller and learner than the stockier Alves.
You could be right I still think that Fitch looked bigger but its all a matter of opinion since we don't know what they walked in at.

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This is why the notion that GSP regularly cuts from 195 seems patently ridiculous to me. Because a 30 pound weightcut attempt in one day on the part of Johnson hit a ceiling at 26 pounds.
I never said GSP cuts that in a day, he probably drops that over a number of days, I only said GSP said he walks into the cage at 185 typically and he said heading into the Hardy fight that due to bulking up he would walk in heavier that usual around that 190-195 mark.

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Also, because Johnson is so much bigger than GSP.
Its not just how much weight Johnson cuts but also the ridiculous way he cuts it.


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Yes, he is 10 years older. He's also not nearly starting from as far away as Lesnar is.
But age is definitely the biggest factor, Coleman claimed he was a mere 12 pounds off three weeks before he fought Couture. That is hardly a weight cut that should have drained him.

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Again, I don't think that Kongo can make 205. I don't think his body will allow him to do it.
Have to agree to disagree on that one.

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You'll get no argument here. I'm assuming that last clause is: "Let's be honest, most of them are not on the level of some of the smaller HW's..."
There not that was my point, without the size and strength advantage they don't leave much.

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I've seen 155 pound grapplers submit 200+ pound behemoths. I've never seen a 155 pound grappler submit someone with a significant size advantage and a similar skillset (unless you count Garcia vs. Van Arsdale at ADCC, but that's a pretty serious stretch, too). There is a point at which, believe it or not, even a basic skill level allows for the undermining of superior technical skills.

The limitations of size are notable.
Size does have limitations but we aren't throwing 200lb guys in with 265 pounders. We are only talking at most 50lbs considering a 280lb fighter taking on a 230lb fighter (who should be fighting at LHW). That is the maximum size difference we should see but as I said earlier I feel that the 230lb guys are not making the best use of there available options. I believe BJ Penn vs Jon Fitch will be just as lopsided size wise as Lesnar/Couture was but it is still considered fair.



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This is predicated on your point that (a) everyone can make weight and that (b) everyone who can make weight will continue to do it for as long as possible, which is what I'm trying to show is not correct
I am not implying that everyone could make the weight or that they would but your major players will. A guy like Lesnar who is marketable enough that he has the resources will make the weight. You will still have guys who don't have the nutritionists and coaching staff necessary that will remain at 265 but who wants to see Tim Hague vs Sean McCorkle for the HW title?

[/quote]
I think that's probably the likeliest opportunity, too. But I'm not sure he can regain the all-around athleticism at this point, and I'm not sure he can get it.[/quote] I am not sure that athleticism was really ever there. He is just a big strong guy who hits incredibly hard and IMO thats it.


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Yes, it is necessary that 230-240 pound heavyweights remain relevant because, as we've seen with Brandon Vera (to name one) fighters do not always successfully translate their game
Brandon Vera looks as good as ever at 205 he is just fighting a higher caliber of opponent.


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Again, you're asserting that all of these guys can cut to lightheavyweight, and I'm not sure that they all can without jeopardizing their ability to perform.

It's not a "hand out weight class" for a group of fighters. A "hand out weight class" seems like something that's created for one fighter (like Nick Diaz or Gina Carano). Clearly, this isn't that.

If you create a weightclass that has a substantial number of competitive fighters, then isn't that, by virtue of having a lot of competitive fighters. Which, by the way, you argued it would, since you've argued that it wouldn't exclude any competitive heavyweights.
The cruiserweight division would have a lot of talent, my issue is the lack of depth it leaves at HW.
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