7 UFC Fighters That Need To Change Weight Classes

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FightCove
9/2/11 7:44:40PM
At the highest level of mixed martial arts that is the UFC, fighters need every advantage they can possible get when stepping into the octagon. One of those particular advantages fighters seek over one another is size and weight. While not every fighter should be making a grueling weight cut, it is obvious that some are not competing at the weight class they should be. With that said, here are, in no particular order, seven UFC fighters I think would benefit by changing weight classes.

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua
Fights at: Light Heavyweight (205 pounds)
Should Move to: Middleweight (185 pounds)
Why He Should Move: Even through the dominance of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, he has always appeared to be one of the smaller light-heavyweights in the division. The Brazilian walks around very close to 205 pounds and does not have to cut much weight to make the limit. It would be very interesting to see what the former champion “Shogun” could do in the middleweight division. Of course, there is the question of how the weight cut would affect his devastating power and overall game, but if Rua could make a successful cut to middleweight, he would immediate be a top title contender.

Fabio Maldonado
Fights at: Light Heavyweight (205 pounds)
Should Move to: Middleweight (185 pounds)
Why He Should Move: If you saw Maldonado’s last fight against Kyle Kingsbury, you would have immediately noticed that the two fighters looked at least a weight class different in size. With a flabby midsection, it would appear that a cut to middleweight would not be too rough for the Brazilian, who sports a 1-1 record in the UFC light-heavyweight division. While many agree that middleweight should be Maldonado’s future fighting weight, it appears that he will remain in the light-heavyweight division for at least one more fight.

Yoshihiro Akiyama
Fights at: Middleweight (185 pounds)
Should Move to: Welterweight (170 pounds)
Why He Should Move: UFC president Dana White has publicly expressed that he would like to see Akiyama move down to the welterweight division. White even went as far as to say he has begged Akiyama to make the move in the past. After suffering three straight losses inside the octagon, Akiyama may not have a choice but to make the move if he wishes to compete in the UFC again. Akiyama could revive his career with a drop in weight and could also be a part of many fun match ups in the welterweight division.

Demian Maia
Fights at: Middleweight (185 pounds)
Should Move to: Welterweight (170 pounds)
Why He Should Move: While this may be one of the more unrealistic choices on the list, Demian Maia at 170 pounds sounds like a very appealing move. The welterweight division is filled with high level wrestlers, however, there is a lack of standout jiu-jitsu artists. With the drop in weight, Maia could be that guy at welterweight. He would definitely be one of the bigger fighters in the division and with that size, matched with his always dangerous ground game and improving striking, Demian Maia could be a future champion in the welterweight division.

Jon Fitch
Fights at: Welterweight (170 pounds)
Should Move to: Middleweight (185 pounds)
Why He Should Move: To be bleak, unless George St. Pierre losses, Jon Fitch’s chances of winning a title in the UFC welterweight division are minimal. And while we can all agree he deserves another shot at the belt, it seems like a long time before the UFC is going to grant him one. Fitch’s best move at this point is to move up in weight and begin a title run in the middleweight division. While Fitch may be under matched in terms of size and strength at 185, his wrestling skills and gritty style would make him an immediate threat to the middleweight belt. Fitch is one of the best fighters in the world and a successful move to middleweight would only raise his pound-for-pound stock.

Charles Oliveira
Fights at: Lightweight (155 pounds)
Should Move to: Featherweight (145 pounds)
Why He Should Move: After an 0-2-1 record in his past three fights, Charles Oliveira needs a change. The highly skilled Brazilian fighter is relatively small in terms of UFC lightweights. With his lean frame, Oliveira would be best suited competing at featherweight, where he would be one of the tallest fighters in the division. Oliveira has stated that he is considering making the drop and at only 21 years of age, he has all the time in the world to re-establish himself in a new weight class.

Frankie Edgar
Fights at: Lightweight (155 pounds)
Should Move to: Featherweight (145 pounds)
Why He Should Move: This selection may appear silly since, well, Edgar is the reigning UFC lightweight champion. However, Edgar is one of the smallest fighters in the division, which makes his success all the more impressive. The change in weight class could happen in one of two ways. One, Edgar could lose his UFC 136 fight against Gray Maynard then make the drop, or two, Edgar could continue to make a string of successful title defenses and drop down for a title unification bout with the featherweight champion. While this drop in weight should in no way happen immediately, competing at 145 pounds is definitely in Frankie Edgar’s future.
Chael_Sonnen
9/2/11 7:49:21PM
Honorable Mentions:

Gleison Tibeau
Anthony Johnson
BuffaloDave
9/2/11 9:04:30PM
Out of those 7, the two I agree most with is Akiyama and Maia. Akiayama has the build to be able to drop the 15 lbs. pretty much the same build as GSP. Plus we would get to see his nasty judo defending all the wrestlers at WW. Maia basically the same size as Fitch just not as lean. With all the wrestlers his excellent BJJ could cause some trouble for some of these guys.

I think Fitch should stay at WW, he would fair not better at MW. Just stay at WW get another title shot in a fight or two, get the breaks beat off you again, then go back to Fitchin' your way to wins. Retire with the all-time wins at WW without holding a title.

A little premature on Shogun. He faced Jon Jones after almost a year layoff, then bounced right back and destroyed Griffin. Wait to see how he is after another fight or two. An immediate opponent I see for him would be Belfort, if he were to drop he weight.

Poor_Franklin
9/2/11 9:38:25PM
edgar, maia, akiyama, oliveira.

not so sure about shogun

what about fedor? crocop? i always wanted to see them at 205
emfleek
9/2/11 9:52:18PM
Please stop promoting your site. Link removed.
BuffaloDave
9/2/11 10:04:54PM

Posted by Poor_Franklin

what about fedor? crocop? i always wanted to see them at 205



Didn't you see what happened to Fedor when he fought a LHW?? Seriously though I said that after the Silva fight, he's not chiseled so dropping the weight wouldn't be to hard for him. Didn't he just weigh in at like 220 for the Hendo fight? But with him neither with SF or UFC he would fall into what everyone argues about with him, and that's the level of competition he would face, especially if he started to roll at LHW.

Cro-Cop could probably have made the move if it was a few years ago, but at this point in his career whats the point?
FightCove
9/2/11 10:09:27PM

Posted by emfleek

Please stop promoting your site. Link removed.



may i post the whole article with the link or no?
Poor_Franklin
9/2/11 10:53:53PM

Posted by BuffaloDave


Posted by Poor_Franklin

what about fedor? crocop? i always wanted to see them at 205



Didn't you see what happened to Fedor when he fought a LHW?? Seriously though I said that after the Silva fight, he's not chiseled so dropping the weight wouldn't be to hard for him. Didn't he just weigh in at like 220 for the Hendo fight? But with him neither with SF or UFC he would fall into what everyone argues about with him, and that's the level of competition he would face, especially if he started to roll at LHW.

Cro-Cop could probably have made the move if it was a few years ago, but at this point in his career whats the point?



i wasn't really paying attention. party foul on me.

i always wanted to see them at 205 & i guess at the time i considered it relevant to mention that in a thread that is talking about fighters that need to now, not then

Pookie
9/3/11 12:23:19AM
Some general rules of thumb

If a fighter is winning off of their agility, they should not drop a weight class. You run into quicker guys at a smaller weight.
If a fighter is winning off of their size, they should not go up a weight class. You run into bigger guys at a higher weight.
Either way, you're minimizing your strengths.

I.E. Machida/Edgar would not do as well as most with a weight cut. & Fitch/GSP would not do so well competing against people in the weight class above.

The older a fighter is, the bigger the chance that a weight drop gets them knocked out. This is because of reflexes. (Think Fedor v. Henderson)

The farther the fighters base is away from wrestling, the more their cardio is impacted from X amount of pounds cut. (Think Rumble and Thiago Alves respectively. Weight cuts kill Thiago's performance, And enhance Rumble's)

The more you cut, the less energy you can expend.(Think Gsp as he's gotten bigger, and Edgar as he's remained small).


Also, Shogun is too big to make 185. His back and his legs are bigger than everyone in the division. Him standing next to Anderson or Rampage makes either of them look small. And both look like a big 205er's when they compete at LHW. Don't let the under developed frontside of Shogun fool you, the guy's frame is bigger than cro-cop's, who also made many statements about him being too big to cut to 205.

Rashad and Akiyama would have to lose alot of muscle mass to drop a weight class. They are super bulky. With Sexyama, too much bulk in the wrong area's, and since he built that muscle through judo(his base and thus his safe zone) i don't think we see him even attempt the weight cut. Since to cut that weight he needs to lose the man strength he's relied on his entire career, and has to adapt to cutting water, and his cardio is already sucky as it is.

Maia can probably make a successful cut, though he would have to lose a little mass as well. His takedowns are improving and his striking is more technical than many of the fighters at WW. He'll have less energy to expend, but becuase he fights like a bigger guy would fight at 185, having to deal with smaller and weaker fighters at 170 should even out the cardio issue. Less battery energy, but more efficient use of the batteries energy. If that makes sense. But he also is pretty tall for 170(6'0") and has short limbs, so the cut may be harder than expected.
Pookie
9/3/11 12:24:19AM

Posted by FightCove


Posted by emfleek

Please stop promoting your site. Link removed.



may i post the whole article with the link or no?



I can answer this for him.

You may post the whole article, but not the link.
FightCove
9/3/11 4:43:19AM
right on. posted the whole article then
ghandikush
9/3/11 5:28:14PM
Shogun would not do as well cutting weight and being slower.

You never mentioned Machida and he is smaller. He would suck lower too though.

GSP should move up to make things interesting again.
Alves should move up.
Serra should move down.
Fitch should move up to beat Anderson.
Shields should move up.
Kos could move up but he's have to learn how to throw a ****** jab.
ChrisSabal
9/3/11 5:36:15PM

Posted by ghandikush

Shogun would not do as well cutting weight and being slower.

You never mentioned Machida and he is smaller. He would suck lower too though.

GSP should move up to make things interesting again.
Alves should move up.
Serra should move down.
Fitch should move up to beat Anderson.
Shields should move up.
Kos could move up but he's have to learn how to throw a ****** jab.



Don't know if you have seen Serra lately but it looks like he is considering a move up to heavyweight
timothyera
9/3/11 6:08:33PM
Only thing stopping Akiyama is that the Japanese do not believe in weight cutting.
pmoney
9/4/11 3:08:23PM
I don't know about this Jon Fitch moving up talk. Last time I saw, he was on some kind of vegan or near vegan diet. He came in very lean against BJ, I want to say 168 even. So unless he abandons his new diet/lifestyle, I don't think that's happening.
timothyera
9/5/11 3:25:12PM
I guess I have to retract my previous comment on the Japanese not believing in weight cutting. I just read Akiyama will be moving down to welterweight in his next fight. Damn you called it.
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