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Shut up and cut

Over at Sherdog, Jake Rossen has moved on from telling fighters to retire and is now trying his hand at telling fighters to change weight classes. Although I don’t agree with all of his picks, I am glad to see someone else talking about fighters being in the wrong weight classes. Fightlinker has been talking about this issue since Pride fighters started getting whupped in the octagon : it’s not a PRIDE curse, it’s just smaller fighters getting beaten by bigger fighters.

Size advantage is a huge boon, and there’s nowhere you’ll see this more than in the UFC over the past few months. As Rossen points out, Mirko Crocop looked tiny against monsters like Cheick Kongo and Gabriel Gonzaga. Shogun Rua also seemed out muscled compared to Forrest Griffin, and when you see Wanderlei Silva alongside UFC guys I bet you’ll notice a strength difference there too.

It’s not surprising that most fighters in the UFC have already shifted into the best weight class for their body type. The UFC is a crucible which chews up and spits out fighters who haven’t done all the cutting they can. I’ve lost count of the number of fighters who have dropped one or even two weight classes in the UFC. Because if you’re not cutting like a motherfucker in the UFC, you’re gonna get tooled by someone who is.

On the other hand, Pride never really did give a shit about weight classes. With open weight fights and open weight tournaments, a guy was just as likely to fight someone 100 pounds heavier as they were to fight someone 20 pounds heavier. Different fighters jumped between weight classes from fight to fight, and you often didn’t know who you were fighting until a week before the event, let alone what weight you were supposed to be.

So it really doesn’t surprise me that Pride guys are having a hard time adjusting to this new system. If you ask me, I think the majority of the Pride superstars need to drop a weight class: Mirko, Wanderlei, Hendo, and Shogun being at the forefront of that statement. I dunno if other incoming fighters have noticed this, but at least some guys are thinking smart. Ryo Chonan, who is better known as a tubby middleweight, is making the cut to welterweight so as not to give up any size.

Long story short: if you’re not cutting, you’re not winning. Or if you are winning, just wait till you fight someone in the top ranks who is cutting. Then you’ll lose.

  • Lifer says:

    The announcer/post fight interviewer at TKO is horribly french canadian and just asked Tavernini about having more pro ultimate fighting experience than his opponent as a possible reason for his winning.

    Zuffa takes TKO in Lawsuit??

  • John says:

    Fedor is a 6 foot 233 pound heavyweight. imagine the size difference if he had to fight his own brother.

  • Matt says:

    Silva will look small because
    A. He’s finally off the sauce
    B. He’s not fighting a 180lb Sakuraba.

  • If he was saucing before, he’ll be saucing now. the only difference is he’ll have to be more careful with his cycling.

  • Since I started covering MMA I’ve said if you can confidently drop down to the weight class do it. Even if you might give up a slight amount of muscle to make the weight the advantage could be tremendous.

  • I say that too … except in the case of the welterweight division. There’s a couple of guys floundering at welterweight who should come up to middleweight.

  • perpetuum says:

    I don’t know how you can say Shogun and Cro Cop lost because they fought bigger opponents in the UFC than they did in Pride. Shogun didn’t have any issues with the size of his opposition when he annihilated Quinton Jackson (cuts to make 205), Ricardo Arona (another big LHW), Kevin Randleman (former UFC heavyweight champ), and Alistair Overeem (routinely shifts between Heavy and LHW). Likewise CroCop holds wins over monsters like Josh Barnett (3!!), Alex Emelianenko, Coleman, and Herring. I mean come on, people were always excusing Randy’s loss to Barnett because of Barnett’s enormous size and Cro Cop dominated Josh thrice. Long story short, Shogun and Cro Cop lost because they fought poorly.

  • Mirko only beat Barnett once fair and square … once was a fluke injury and the other time was Barnett after a decision win to Minotauro. Quinton Jackson didn’t have any of the same people around him that he has now, Alistair Overeem is notoriously inconsistant, and I wouldn’t call Arona a huge LHW. Randleman … lets not even go there. Was it before or after that he almost died from organ failure?

    I would definitely put Barnett’s size as a reason Randy lost, although there was also stuff at home going on that might have to be factored in as well. I’m not going to say these losses are ONLY because of the size difference (i’d say Shogun getting married a few weeks before the Griffin fight shows he wasn’t mentally in the right place), but i’d say they played a large part.

  • perpetuum says:

    Yeah, I understand your points, Fightlinker, but I still think the lion’s share of the credit should go to Gonzaga, Kongo, and Griffin for their performances. It would be a shame if people forgot how well they fought and just chalked it up to Mirko and Rua being outsized and/or distracted by various outside influences. IMO, size only plays a MAJOR factor in a fight if the skill levels of the combatants are at least in the same ballpark…otherwise, Dan Bobish would be the fucking man!

    I didn’t intend to steal your “long story short” wording or mock you by parroting it back–it must have just seeped into my consciousness when I was typing my original post.

  • no worries :-p Even if you were mocking me, I could take it. That’s kinda how we roll around here … so long as you’ve got good points, you can pad it with as much shit talk as you like!

  • kentyman says:

    When did you add the “so long as you’ve got good points” clause to the rules?

  • Well, that’s not my clause … general rule around here is if your points aren’t good you’re gonna get hung like Christ on Easter by our Jackals.

  • Xavier says:

    They could fix all this garbage weight cutting by doing weigh-ins on the day of the fight.

  • Then you would end up with a lot of stupid fighters becoming dead fighters. It’s already been tried in amateur wrestling and boxing to horrific results. Part of the water you’re shedding for a weighin includes liquid around your brain that helps protect it. Punching a guy without that protective liquid is pretty much guaranteed brain damage.

  • Xavier says:

    Yeah, you’re likely right that these guys would be too stupid to just not weight cut. Weight cutting = shit in general. Too bad.

  • Matt says:

    Cylcing off the sauce at fight time still shows muscle shrinkage. ex Paul Filho in WEC.

  • Matt says:

    that was supossed to be Paulo