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The Case for Cruiserweight

BrockUFC 91. Randy Couture vs. Brock Lesnar for the prestigious UFC heavyweight championship. “The Natural” has overcome many obstacles in his heralded UFC career including being the “old-man,” but there was just no way he could overcome the sheer size and strength difference.

At weigh-in time, Couture weighed 220, just 14 lbs. over the lower limit for the weight class. Brock Lesnar weighed in at the heavyweight weight limit of a massive 265 lbs. By the time the fight rolled around Couture probably didn’t weigh much more than his trim 220 lbs., but Lesnar was rumored to be coming in around 280. A 60 lbs. weight difference!

Sure, Royce Gracie overcame greater size differences, but the sport is different now. When Gracie ruled the Octagon, guys had no idea what this skinny Brazilian was doing. What is this Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

The beginning days of our sport was style vs. style. What we see now is that styles make matches and size does matter. Everyone trains in all styles, hence the name Mixed Martial Arts.

Lesnar was able to muscle his way out of Couture’s clinches and takedowns and his immense size allowed him to throw a punch with enormous power behind it to finish The Natural and become the UFC heavyweight champion.

In his latest fight at UFC 100, Lesnar used his stature to control the 245 pound Frank Mir’s hips, in what many thought was a game of lay-n-pray, rendering his BJJ useless.

What can be done for fighters that just aren’t big enough to handle Lesnar’s size but are too big to get to the 205 lbs. limit of light heavyweight? Are they stuck in a position knowing that they can never be the champion in either weight class?

At UFC 99, Rich Franklin met Wanderlei Silva at a catch weight of 195 lbs. Speculation and hope grew around the MMA community that this was the start of a new weight class, one to split the 20 pound difference between middleweight and light heavyweight. Fortunately, in this writer’s opinion, it turns out that this weight was a one time agreed upon weight because Franklin wanted to stay at light heavyweight and Silva was on his way down to make a splash in the middleweight division.

In the past I have been resistant to new weight classes. I saw no reason to split the competition in the existing weight classes. 15 pounds exist between lightweight and welterweight, and the same weight repeats between welterweight and middleweight. Between middleweight and light heavyweight only 20 lbs. exist. We don’t need to water the sport down with an abundance of weight classes.

The heavyweight division has a range of 59 pounds, which in the past has not had much of an impact. Now, with the massive Lesnar dropping bombs on the division, I think it may be time to introduce a new division.

In the British Navy, the second heaviest ship is referred to as the cruiser, thus giving us the name for just such a division. Cruiserweight. A division that would close the gap between light heavyweight and heavyweight. A 206-240 lbs. cruiserweight class and a 241-265 lbs. heavyweight class.

With heavyweights such as Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin actually cutting weight to make the heavyweight cusp, this would give the smaller contenders a home where they would not have to either put a ton of muscle on their body or shorten their careers by continually drastically cutting weight.

TUF 10 is bringing in a slew of new heavyweights that could provide competition and fill up a heavyweight weight class of 240 -265 lbs. Cruiserweight would be an instant favorite with the likes of Couture, Nogueira, Mir, among others including some transplants from light heavyweight such as Forrest Griffin who is rumored to walk around at 240 pounds.

Another benefit to a cruiserweight division is another title meaning additional possible main events. UFC 103 is headlined by a rematch of a debatable split decision between Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson which will prove to be a good fight for fans. But should this be headlining a major UFC event? This fight doesn’t do much to further either fighter’s career.

In 2008, there were a total of 13 named UFC events. With every title being fought for twice, there was 10 title fights. With the addition of the interim heavyweight title between Mir and Nogueira the total was brought to 11. Adding a cruiserweight division and crowning a champion may just round us out with a title defense at every UFC.

Now is the time for a new division. Not at the lower weight classes. They don’t need to be split. Give the cruiserweights a chance to stand out and shine not be pummeled under Lesnar’s mass.

55 COMMENTS
  • brandnewpride36 says:

    well 195 lbs could be a weight class now, cuz he’s not fighting dan henderson again, he’s fighting vitor belfort at UFC 103 at 195 lbs.

    but i like the idea of a cruiserweight class

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  • Lord Faust says:

    With regards to the issues of weight classes, I’ve been wondering if there’s been any hard research done on the effects of weight cutting. Head trauma has garnered a lot of attention as-of-late — and rightly so — but I think this is something we shouldn’t overlook. Combat athletes already take an immense toll on their bodies; I’d like to see more work done in the medical field to ensure that after their careers, fighters have all the opportunities to lead normal, healthy lives.

    On the topic of the article: I think we do need more categories for significantly gigantic fighters. The problem, however, at this point I think is the depth in the talent pool. It’s taken the UFC quite some time to flesh out a decent heavyweight division. Apparently it’s hard to find talented big men who don’t mind taking punches to the face.

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  • dpk says:

    I’ve gone back and forth on this issue numerous times. When I was in high school I was a big time boxing fan, and actually wrote into Friday night fights on ESPN asking Max Kellerman, the ESPN boxing analyst at the time if he thought there should be separate weight classes for HW, and Super HW. He agreed, and so did I at the time. Shortly there after, Chris Byrd beat Vitali Klitschko. An MMA equivalent is Randy beating up Tim Slyvia who is a 265+ guy himself. nobody was screaming for another weight class when Mir broke his arm, or when Randy dominated him for 5 rounds, it is just an argument now because Lesnar is such a good athlete and has such a good wrestling base. The biggest argument against this weight class is Fedor, all 230lbs of him. There is a fight coming up that I really want to see, before I make my final judgement, and that is the Velasquez v Carwin fight. Velasquez is a smaller HW by todays standards weighing in around 240, while Carwin is a 265+ guy when he steps in the Cage. If Velasquez can get things done against Carwin, and then potentially Brock, then this argument goes out the window, but if Carwin manhandles him, then I think it will have some serious legs. I also don’t think the weight class should be 240, because then guys who walk around at 260-270 would cut down, and go into the fights weighing back up around 260 still giving them a potential 30-40 pound weight advantage. I think a better weight would be 230. Guys like Velasquez and Mir I bet could make the cut down to that weight. I think the biggest problem with a cruiser weight class is that you risk diluting multiple weight classes, such as HW, and LHW to go with cruiser weight. If UFC wants more titles to add to their main events, they should fold WEC into the mix (and I hope they do) so that Torres and Brown can headline, and they should also make the steps to start a 125lbs weight class, because the smaller guys have some of the best fights you will ever see.

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  • drdsanders says:

    I would rather see a shuffling of weight classes (and adding another) instead simply throwing in an additional class.
    It’s common for a wrestler to nullify good Jits. Clay guida does it every damn fight. Fitch did it to Sanchez. Mir was beating Lesnar in the standup but did little to stop the takedown. Would you be crying for a new weightclass had Mir won?

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  • PlagueAngel says:

    @drdsanders

    I’ve said the same thing about the Mir situation many times over. No one would be complaining if Mir caught Lesnar in an armbar at 100 or Randy beating Lesnar. Its the simple fact that if Randy wants to be champion, he needs to go down to 205. END OF STORY! To the next subject, the idea for another weight class from 206-240 is a good idea. Better then the super heavyweight idea that some people think is the solution. But if everything stays the same in the weight classes, big deal. What we need is 5 round fights and 7 round title fights!

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  • fuhr says:

    I wouldn’t object to a cruiser weight division but at the same time I don’t want to see MMA become more like boxing and the countless weight divisions. By the way UFC 103 is no longer headlined but Hendo Franklin. Unless something has changed again.

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  • MegaMan says:

    I think 230 is even too much. 225 so people won’t cut from 255 or something crazy. When Tim Sylvia was winning the sport was different. I don’t think anyone wants to see Brock Lesnar lay on top of people for the next few years, so call 265 Super Heavyweight and 225 Heavyweight. With Lesnar’s “popularity” in the mainstream I don’t think a division will exist (cruiserweight or whichever) for a while though.
    Also, if someone gets knocked out in the first minute of a 7 round fight the pay per view time gets messed up. Same thing for a 5 round. A 5 round boring decision would not go over well either.

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  • shotokai_ says:

    I’m with Lord Faust, the premise of this article is good, and you make your case well, however, there simply isn’t the talent out there to fill two HW divisions.
    TUF 10 will, at most, give the UFC 8 new heavyweight fighters, and although there are a few 265+ guys on the show – there aren’t that many. It’s unrealistic to think that the UFC could make a serious division of 240-265ers. We should also bare in mind that if a fighters natural weight is 260, they would probably make the cut down to your proposed division anyway.
    With that being said though, the weight difference between Couture and Lesnar was just absurd. A 60lb difference in a modern MMA fight is crazy. That’s about the equivalent of Frankie Edgar taking on Forrest Griffin; makes you think.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    The past few days I’ve been calling the 195lb idea “Cruiserweight.”

    I do like the way you explained it about the British Navy, but Boxing has Cruiserweight set at 200lbs. That has varied throughout the past 30 years though, fluctuating between 190 and 195 and back again.

    I don’t agree with adding a class between 206 – 265, b/c like Lord Faust said & dpk touched on, we run the risk of robbing Peter to pay Paul, that being taking from one class to fill another, thus the dilution explanation.

    As I’ve said before, with the UFC getting a more in depth talent pool at each class and by signing folded promotion’s fighters, something has to change, or we will only see fighters fighting once or twice a year. If anything, I think we can address that by putting more fights on a card. We logically can’t have more PPV’s, b/c then we dilute the market, and not as many people have the money to spend 50 bucks twice a week.

    I really like DPK’s idea of folding the smaller weight classes from WEC into the UFC. Those are EXCITING fights.

    Guys, you have said in the past, “Leave the other promotions alone, they can be a farm league.” I’ve said that too. Why not keep the WEC as the UFC’s farm league? Kinda like how MLB owns their own minor league team. Fold the smaller weight classes into the UFC, and keep fishing the market to stock the WEC. When that fighter has gotten good enough, let him come to the UFC. Repeat the process.

    Thoughts?

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  • Rich S. says:

    I like the idea..

    Obviously, I like where the UFC is right now, with the 5 traditional weight classes..

    But, the Heavyweights DO seem to be half and half on “guys who can barely make 265 or come in at 260 every time” and “guys who are small heavyweights but too big to go down to lightheavyweight”

    It would allow for more fair bouts.. Right now, the Heavyweight division is in this place where, no matter how much skill you have, you can’t become the champion because the man on top is just too big and too strong..

    But, if we cut these guys in half, and had Mir or Noguiera fighting for a title against Randy or Cro Cop, they would stand more of a chance..

    Then Brock would have the bigger guys like Herring or Carwin (and any we may get from TUF or Affliction) all to himself..

    It’s still a bit sketchy though, because right now the Heavyweight division is barely strong enough on it’s own. And although it’s getting stronger, I don’t think it’s nearly strong enough to be cut in half yet..

    But, give it a little bit of time, and allow more big AND small heavyweights to get in the mix, and I’ll be all for it..

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  • Jak says:

    It always comes back to the amount of talent for 2 HW classes, if Lesnar is too big for anyone, everyone will cut and it will be Lesnar vs Lesnar because besides Carwin most guys can probably shed enough weight to be able to drop to the lesser weight.

    I suppose i am apparently one of the few Lesnar fans that stills sees a whole lot of holes in his game. Mir landed like 2 or 3 knees the whole fight and all of them almost dropped Lesnar. Couture, with a great gameplan, was an undersized HW who did excellent in the stand up for a round and half.

    I just think it is very premature to think that Lesnar and his size won’t have any competition when he hasn’t even faced some of wrestling HW’s. It’s easy to count Velasquez out because he is small, or dos Santos because he is small, or Carwin for whatever reason but I always find it better to ACTUALLY see how the fights turn out than just counting all the HW’s out.

    Bottom line, Mir’s not that good in the first place and him getting beatdown didn’t really sway me that Lesnar will be unbeatable.

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  • Rich S. says:

    Right now the person that’s going to beat Lesnar, if anyone can, is Shane Carwin..

    Although Lesnar doesn’t have Jiu Jitsu down pat, he did exactly what he needed to do against Mir, not to defend submissions, but to totally prevent Mir from even being able to TRY one..

    So, obviously he has the defense down now, at least from an offensive point of view.. if that makes sense.. Which means we need to give up hope for a submissionist beating him..

    But, we did see him lose the striking to a much smaller Randy, and I thought he looked rocked when Mir caught him with that combo right out the gate in the 2nd round..

    And as of right now, Lesnar, although he has a lot of power, only has one punch in his arsenal..

    So, that’s why it would take Carwin, a heavy handed, solid wrestler, to beat Lesnar.. But, this is all off topic :)

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  • Lord Faust says:

    I think Big Nog stands a very real chance of defeating Lesnar, provided he hasn’t had his “card punched” one too many times. He may have sold tomorrow to win today, so to speak, with regards to his past performances and the abuse he’s endured.

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  • moosebaby02 says:

    Interesting peace. That’s something for me to think about. Lord Faust, dpk, Rich S., Jak I agree. But we should wait and see what Carwin or Velasquez have to say first before we get the ufc taking a hundred bucks out of my pocket a month witch would most likley happen in the not to soon future. Carwin is a big dude and Velasquez is no joke as he proved me wrong with Kongo. I would love to see what Mir has left as well. Why not have him fight Dos Santos providing he beats Cro Cop. Then set up a rubber match if Mir wins that one and IF it turns out that way. And I know no one wants to see that one. By then the tuff 10 boys could start dancing around the picture. There is to much that can happen and yes its all a bunch of what ifs but that’s how the ufc started and got to where they are now (yeah I know I will be labeled a ufc lover) I have to say AND I am not a Lesnar fan find it hard to believe that if he can get by in his next two fights it will be hard pressed to find anyone to stop him. Especially the way he learning at the rate he is going so fast. But really all he has to do is get you down and hold you there and punch you in the face. That’s all he does. How hard can it really be when you’re the size and have the speed as he does? Its not like he is submitting anyone or using any great bjj. Sorry getting away from the point. The way the size of teenagers and how popular the sport is getting I can definitely see having to spit up the weight class’s in about ten years. More studies into long term affects on weight cutting on the body. Great point Lord Faust. As popular as the sport of mma is, it hasn’t been around long enough to determine the long affects on the body. How long has been boxing around before any one started to or cared about what happened to their fighters when there where dollars been made?? Either way it wont happen anytime soon so we better hope Carwin or Velasquez can get the job done or we will be in for a long run of boring lay and prey punch in the face HW division. Like I said its not like he is being very technical. He is a beast. Its really not fair but that’s just a 5’4 small mans speaking

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  • notdanawhite says:

    cruiser weight is a no-brainer now. next we need weigh-ins day of fight. cutting is unhealthy and provides an unfair advantage that has nothing to do with skill.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    “next we need weigh-ins day of fight. cutting is unhealthy and provides an unfair advantage that has nothing to do with skill.”

    Guys will still cut weight and run the risk of serious injury, IMO. I’m not saying fighters are stupid, but considering the other personal sacrifices these guys make, this would just be another “cost of doing business”.

    With more research into the topic of weight cutting we’d at least be able to weigh the two notions, and elect for the lesser of two evils. Weight cutting is too engrained in North American combat sports to simply make it stop. Sadly, I don’t exactly have any answers other than “we need to find out more”.

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  • swiftyfrisko says:

    I’m with some of the other commenters here in that we don’t discard the idea of splitting the h/w division, but need to give the situation more time to clarify. We might be at the dawn of a new era of ‘super heavyweights’, or we might not. Early days.

    If in a year or two, we find that we’ve got a h/w division with excellent fighters that can’t really cut to light h/w, but are just out-muscled by the big guys, then splitting the heavyweights might be an idea whose time has come. There should be good commercial reasons for it.

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  • mu_shin says:

    On the initial point, a cruiserweight division, I’m coming down on the negative.

    The comments about Lesnar’s “lay and pray” technique are just as misguided and to my mind,ill-informed as every time I’ve read the same criticism of Clay Guida. What some want to label lay and pray is a technical approach, a fighting tactic, for which there are strategic technical solutions. If a fighter can’t counter what you want to call “lay and pray”, HE LOSES, just like if he can’t block a right cross or if he can’t defend against an arm bar. You may not find it as exciting as a standup knockout, but the goal of professional fighting is entertaining, and WINNING.

    Lesnar’s size and strength are not an unfair advantage. His athletic gifts are what set him apart as a competitor, and his application of various techniques are what make him the heavyweight champion. If you don’t think there are technical options to avoid the “lay and pray”, then you are denying the evolution we’ve all witnessed in this sport. Royce Gracie submitted Remco Pardoel at a serious weight disadvantage in one of the initial UFC’s, but now the rules are different; they stand guys up so the fans don’t boo the ground game, and everyone studies BJJ and takedown defense as a matter of course. The game evolved.

    There are “smaller” heavyweights, perhaps an accomplished wrestler like Velasquez, or an all around master like Fedor, who can, and will, surmount the “lay and pray”; they, or someone like them, will overcome the technical problem posed by a bigger, stronger fighter like Lesnar. The sport will continue to evolve, as it has done so far, and I believe we will all see that a technically superior athlete, within the parameters of the modern sport with the new rules and current level of experience, will express a level of ring awareness and cage savvy such that they won’t find themselves struggling under a monster like Brock or Carwin.

    No denying that there has been a paradigm shift in the heavyweight division toward bigger, stronger, faster, more athletic fighters. Lesnar is at the forefront, and as he succeeds, we’ll see guys like Carwin and perhaps Bobby Lashley also compete successfully. What I don’t agree with is the argument that there won’t be fighters in the 205-240 range who can handle the bigger stronger heavyweights. I’ve made the argument in other posts that Fedor has already done it, even though none of the giants he’s faced have the amazing athleticism of Lesnar. I think the answers lie in technical innovation and the evolution of MMA, rather than breaking down the heavyweight division into cruiser and heavy.

    I will never argue that cutting weight is a healthy practice or benefits a fighter in terms of life-long health, but any trainer or coach will tell you that the strength-to-weight ratio achieved by cutting weight confers a fighting advantage to the athlete who cuts well, hence the history of the practice. Wrestlers have done it forever, and so have boxers, to try and add an element of physical advantage to their repertoire of skill and technique. It will always be part of the combat sports at the professional level, where the slightest advantage is often the difference between victory and defeat, between a memorable hero and a forgotten also-ran. More studies of the effects seem medically reasonable, especially to avoid extreme practices that could permanently damage an athlete’s healty, but I think fighters will always seek that advantage.

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  • mac wilson says:

    I think the UFC will introduce the new division once it has been proven that we have reached the era of the real heavyweights…..I’m talking about when the division resembles the 155 division in the sence that every single guy is shredded, cutting down to 265, super talented especially in the grappling side of things. Once it is clear that we reach that point…..it’s time to open up a Cruiserweight division.

    I thought we might find out the answer to this question when Fedor would face Brock….I don’t think I need to remind you what happened there….. But once guys like Randy, Velasquez and anyone else are just physically outmatched…..it’s time to make the move….there will be a tipping point when strength counts for more than talent……there is a 60lb weight range, I mean common…..thats a lot of weight when you are matched with a guy who is 260 and yer 210, and you both theoretically match out in talent and everything else.

    I have no idea when to expect this to happen but I don’t see it happening anytime too soon…..maybe like 2 years from now…..but who knows….I think there will be some heavyweights coming out of the woodwork here as the sport grows…..And I can’t wait to meet em.

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  • mac wilson says:

    I want to clarify that clearly a guy wont fight heavyweight if he’s 210 but even 230 or 220…..common

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  • dpk says:

    I would love to see day of weigh-ins. Fighters would still cut weight, but not to the extreme that they do, now. The effect is that probably 75% of the fighters would be fighting at the next weight class up. There is no way a guy like Alves would fight at WW if he only had a few hours to re-hydrate and get his body ready to got 3-5 rounds. Anyone who has cut weight before knows that it takes a lot of your endurance if you don’t do it right. The way the system is set up now, I worry that UFC will see a fighter die in a sauna cutting weight, before it see one die in the cage from injuries.

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  • mac wilson says:

    Well they could just do the weigh-ins the same day as the fights….that would level the playing feild for sure as you can’t sleep off that carb cram. If you eat a whole pizza or something ….. you gotta fight with that in your gut…..better not take any shots to the stomach.

    It can be potentially a problem though because highschool kids are cutting weight. It has happened for awhile now, but you know, with the explosion of the sport, kids will try to exploit every possible advantage.

    It’s just not a healthy thing to do especially for growing bodies….I wont encourage my kid to cut weight. I’ll just make him do technique drills all night for my affection ……………………..KIDDING!!

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  • metalmulisha says:

    You people who’re suggesting that they do weigh-ins the day of the fights for fighter safety because of weight cutting need to get a clue.
    It would be MORE harmful to fighters that cut a lot of weight to have weigh-ins the day of the fight because it wouldn’t give them the proper time to rehydrate their bodies. And don’t give me it’ll discourage guys from cutting weight. NO it won’t.

    Not only would it be unhealthier for guys to cut weight and not be given the proper amount of time to rehydrate but it would lead to a lot of lackluster performances from fighters.
    Fight fans make a much bigger deal about the weight fighters cut than they really should. It’s not nearly as big a deal to the fighters.

    Also as far as adding more weight classes. I’m totally against it.
    The last thing this sport needs to do is get like boxing and have a different weight class every five pounds. It’s one of the things I dislike about boxing.

    This is the Brock Lesnar syndrome. People think he and Shane Carwin are to big for everyone else. It’s a knee jerk reaction.
    The smaller heavyweights have the option of cutting weight and fighting as 205 like Randy’s done before and guys like Mike Whitehead and Jake O’Brian do now.

    Honestly I thought it was best in Pride when they had 4 weight classes. Lightweight 160lbs. & under, Welterweight 183lbs. & under, Middleweight 205lbs. and under, and Heavyweight over 205lbs. That was perfect.

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  • s00nertp says:

    metalmulisha:
    good points, thanks for the comments, I enjoyed reading them.
    As far as the Pride weight divisions… to be honest I was always confused about it. It seemed like they just put together fighters that would make great matchups. Whatever they did though, it worked awesomely.

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  • PlagueAngel says:

    Good god, weigh ins on fight day? Again, I see this topic come up and it hurts my head. Its amazing how many people don’t understand the body of a natural athlete. People like Lesnar, GSP, Alves, train hard to make that weight cut. When I recently cut weight for the military, I cut all the water in my body to make weight because of my muscle. I cut ten pounds of water to make weight but killed on my PT test. The big picture is this…

    185-205 is 20 ibs.
    206-265 is 59 ibs.

    If there is another division that needs a weight class, it would obviously be the 206-240 “Cruiserweight” class. There is just a huge weight difference in the heavyweight class. But honestly I don’t see it as a problem because people are just pissed of Lesnars domination. If Mir would have got Lesnar in an armbar at 100, WE WOULD NOT BE HAVING THIS CONVERSATION.

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  • PlagueAngel says:

    You a black metal guy Faust? Isn’t that the Emperior drummer?

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  • Rich S. says:

    mu_shin: “If a fighter can’t counter what you want to call “lay and pray”, HE LOSES, just like if he can’t block a right cross or if he can’t defend against an arm bar. You may not find it as exciting as a standup knockout, but the goal of professional fighting is entertaining, and WINNING.”

    Thanks for that.. Seriously.. It actually changed my outlook on lay’n’pray.. I’m not quite sure why I never thought of it thought way..

    It’s certainly boring (BTW: I don’t find Lesnar OR Guida boring), but if the other guy can’t stop it from happening, he loses, just as if he fails to keep his hands up, or is unable to defend a submission..

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    metalmulisha

    You said exactly what I was going to. You can’t have these guys weigh in on the night of the fight. Rehydrating the body takes around 24 hours. You’d be putting guys in the cage that would not only be at risk of heat exhaustion, but also risk of the fighter not being able to properly defend himself due to sever cramping from inadequate supply of water and electrolytes.

    I completely understand the Pride weight class comment. It made things a lot simpler. I really wish they would bring back the card system like they had in Bushido though. No action, ref pulls a card, you lost 10% of your purse. That would encourage action. You can’t say anything bad about brock though. Look what he’s done. Its not like he is stalling when he’s on the grond.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    I still don’t agree with the definition they are using for Cruiserweight. Cruiserweight should be the 195lb class. Chop the top off heavyweight to put the limit at 235 or 240. Anything above that, call super heavyweight.

    I get the british navy idea, but thus isn’t britain, and boxing has been using cruiserweight for 30 years now.

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  • Lord Faust says:

    “You a black metal guy Faust? Isn’t that the Emperior drummer?”

    The name is much older than that. I stole it long before I heard Anthems for the Welkin at Dusk. :)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faust

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  • egad81 says:

    I have being saying this all along…. 206 to 265 is just to big of a jump

    186 – 205 cruiserweight
    206 – 230 Ligt Heavyweight
    231 – 265 Heavy Weight
    265+ Super Heavy

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    I personally like the weight classes the way they are, no matter what they do there will always be some guys cutting a lot of weight to make it down to the lower wt class. Guys will have to cut down a bit just like all the other weight classes. I like having one weight class where most of the fighters get to go at it at there natural weight and bulk up as they see fit.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Let me just throw this out there-

    Randy would make a better LHW than a HW.

    Two fights I would like to see with Machida would have to be Machida vs Couture, and a re-match with Tito, a healthy 100% Tito.

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  • hindsightufuk says:

    personally i’m down with hope and evolution.
    remember the days when Mark Coleman, Tito Ortiz and Chuck Lidell looked unbeatable? Dominated the sport for years? Admittedly Chuck was hella entertaining so no one cared. But Tito & Coleman often used to bore me to tears. When they won fights by brutal stoppage they looked awesome, when it went to decision they were boring as fuck. Same with Kevin Randleman, for a while in the UFC i thought no one would be able to stop him, the size, strength and speed of him, and he was fucking boring to watch too.
    But they all got beat eventually, fighters evolved to a point where the opponents became better than, and figured out how to beat Coleman, Liddell, Ortiz & Randleman. It’ll happen to Brock too. He’s a great wrestler and will always get wins, but eventually someone will come along with more talent who he cant beat, who he cant take down and keep down. And thank fuck for when that day comes.

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  • hindsightufuk says:

    and yes i would love to see Randy finish his career as a LHW, straight shot against Lyoto.
    I was just saying the other day i reckon Randy will wear the LHW belt once more before he retires

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    Randy vs Lyoto would be great, I think if randy looks good against big nog this month they might let it happen after Shogun(if Machida wins).

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    Speaking of great fights who is pulling for Florian this weekend?

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  • hindsightufuk says:

    i reckon Kenny might be able to pull it off. he wont be as dumb as Sean Sherk and stand in front of BJ trying to box with him. i think he could pick BJ apart over a few rounds then get a tko late in the fight.
    I’ll be routing for BJ myself, but i wouldnt begrudge Kenny if he won

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    Yeah, I just can’t see him being effective at HW anymore. Let’s be honest, the heavyweights now are all starting to come in at the +240 mark. Randy has cut to 205 before and was a title holer at that weight.

    Spot on, hindsightufuk, as I too see LHW gold before he retires. Not at HW though.

    The sport evolves, as do the weight classes, to a point. Everyone pushes the limits now. Weigh-ins are right at the line. The only exception to this rule is Heavyweight.

    I really don’t see anything wrong with coming in at 265, as everyone else in their respective class comes in at 155, 170, and 185, maybe a pound under. You don’t see a middleweight weigh in at 176.

    Why the ridicule at heavyweight? If you weigh 225, cut to 205.

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    I love this type of title fight, both guys could legitimatly win, without any lucky punch crap. I think a motivated Penn might be a bit to much for Florian, but he is a true student of the sport, I see him winning a very tough foght here.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    As dr. Phil would say, I’m pulling for Florini.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    By the way fan, where the hell were you yesterday?

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  • fanoftna33 says:

    I take pelligrino over neer in the fight of the night for sure.

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  • Jstew3785 says:

    LOL @ Ozz with Florini. That was hilarious when Dr Phil said that. I think the worst name butchering I heard was Michael Buffer announcing Fedor at the Affliction weigh in. “Fedor Emelnencho”

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  • I don’t see the need to split up the HW division until the Brock Lesnars and Shane Carwins are the standard, rather than the exception.

    When the HW division is THOROUGHLY being dominated by guys who cut to 265, then I would see a need to set up a 206-230 division.

    Until then, you dilute the talent pool.

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  • mr thickfingers says:

    Im iffy on this one. First off, alot of guys in the HW division would have to cut to get to 230 or 240 lbs. This division works better to bring guys up to 220 or so from 205. Noone wants that. But guys like Vera and Jardine, and Evans would probably jump, as they are nowhere near the top at LHW. Most of the big names at HW like Mir, Nog, Gonzaga and Kongo come in around 250 fighting weight. Only a few guys like Couture would really benefit. Old guys, who cant handle the bulk with their reflexes and cant muscle big men. On paper its great, so the giants can have their division. But why? All of these guys have holes in their game. MMA is about exploiting those holes and winning. If they want to fix the HW division, make guys forfeit their check if they dont finish their opponent. This means you Kongo, Herring.

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  • It is a huge jump but I think the problem is there just isn’t enough talent in the HW division to split it up. It is such a thin division already. 135-145-155 works fine because those division are stacked with talent. Hell, they could damn near do 145 150 155 because there is just so much talent. But at the HW division I just dont think it would work. Instead of having one thing HW divison, we would have 2 water thin divisons.

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  • JollyDV says:

    I agree whole hardheadedly with the weight classes egad81 proposed. The HW division will continue to grow. The TUF 11 series is focusing on the heavy’s. So there are some extras right there. As with all parts of the UFC, Dana will take his time and develop it at a slow rate and wait until the time is ripe before announcing.

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  • ozz_the_powerful says:

    TUF 11 is about the Heavyweights too?
    I’m not being a smartass, I swear, LOL, I just hadn’t heard anything yet.

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  • bbond30 says:

    Your article is right on the money! A 60 pound weight difference is ridiculous! I can’t believe anyone could even try to make an argument that there shouldn’t be a Cruiserweight division. About time someone noticed!

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  • webeougher says:

    Alright, so here’s some thoughts:

    -I wrestled from the time I was five until I was 19 or so (I wasn’t on the varsity squad in college, but I was on the club team and wrestled in a few open tournaments), and I started cutting weight when I was twelve, so I’m familiar with the concept. I’m 29 now, and I can honestly say I haven’t experienced any long-term effects from weight cutting. If anything, I find that I can still lose weight much more easily than other people I know that are my age. When I don’t work out, I hover around 260 pounds (I’m 6’3″), but when I do weight training and cardio, my weight stays in the 215-220 pound range, and I can drop the 40+ pounds in three to four weeks. I haven’t actually tried, but I’m willing to bet with a month to get down to 220, I could easily make the cut to 205.

    In terms of splitting up the divisions, I can see both sides of the arguments, but I’m firmly for keeping things the way they are.

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  • antone3x7 says:

    The current weight classes, starting from Flyweight:
    125 lbs Flyweight
    135 lbs (+10) Bantamweight
    145 lbs (+10) Featherweight

    155 lbs (+10) Lightweight
    170 lbs (+15) Welterweight
    185 lbs (+15) Middleweight
    205 lbs (+20) Light Heavyweight
    265 lbs (+60) Heavyweight
    265+ lbs Super Heavyweight

    If I had to add a cruiserweight class at 195 lbs, I would propose the following re-alignment:

    155 lbs (+10) Lightweight
    165 lbs (+10) Welterweight
    180 lbs (+15) Middleweight
    195 lbs (+15) Cruiserweight
    220 lbs (+25) Light Heavyweight
    265 lbs (+45) Heavyweight
    265+ lbs Super Heavyweight

    I think the gap between LW and WW is too large as it is now. The HW division, shallow as it is now, would get even shallower with a heavier starting range of 221 lbs, but at least it’ll keep it as a league of big boys.

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  • edub says:

    Antone those are great weight classes IMO. The only thing is LHW is usually below cruiser. No biggie.

    One bad thing with those classes that would make things suck is a lot of fighters would be changing classes. No way GSP, Alves, Fitch, Johnson could make 165. It would be cool to see who would go down to 195 and who would co up to 220 though.

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  • Fedor/gr8stFytronplanit says:

    This seems like such a no brainer. Of course there should be new weight classes created. If not, let’s do it the Pride way. Open weight fights all the time. Why should Fedor have to fight a near three hundred pound man when he weighs 230-235? With this line of reasoning a lightweight should battle a middleweight. It is idiotic to have such a discrepancy occurring. That’s it. End of story. If Fedor loses to Brock then to me it really doesn’t prove that much other than a guy that weighs 50-60 lbs. more than Fedor beat him….so what? Although I absolutely want to see them fight and will pay good coin to see it go down. Dana, make it happen. I don’t care what you have to do up to and including giving him manual release to close the deal.

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  • submit662266 says:

    After seeing Brock v Randy and Brock v Mir, I think they need to split the weight classes. One post above (maybe several: I didn’t read ALL of them) pointed out that the game has changed: most fighters are versed in all facets of the sport. In the early days, it was based on the premise of one discipline fighting another to see which discipline was superior.
    It’s not fun to watch Brock bully smaller guys. Every other weight class has about 10-15 pounds to play with except HW.
    As far as Randy fighting Machida, that would end terribly for the natural. Honestly, ANYBODY who steps in the cage with Machida right now is going to have an awful night.

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