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View Full Version : UFC weight classes and cutting weight, what do they actually weigh?



supersquirrell
Jul 21, 2009, 03:53 PM
Recently i have begun watching some mma, specifically ufc and ultimate fighter. I have never really watched fighting of any kind before and the whole cutting weight thing is new to me. I'm just wondering if anyone with some experience could estimate how much weight some of these guys are cutting and what they really weigh when they step onto that mat on fight day.

For example the announcers in the GSP vs Thiago alvez were saying that GSP is closer to 185 and thiago was around 200 and they are both fighting at 170? I also watched Diego Sanchez fight at 155 when the announcers were saying he won the ultimate fighter at middleweight which is 185, and brock lesnar=265?

Aren't weight classes there specifically so that 200lb guys aren't fighting 170lb guys ? I understand that weight can fluctuate quite a bit due to water, bowel movements and clothing, so I wouLD assume that alot of fighters are fighting at a weight that is heavier than listed, but 30 pounds....

On a related note how much weight can some of these guys cut and what are the health risks involved?

Cheeze_Baron
Jul 21, 2009, 06:43 PM
A good portion of the weight lost before the weigh-ins is likely to be water weight, how else is someone going to gain back 10 lbs on the fight night. Cutting weight is fairly common it sports, it allows slightly heavier folks to fight smaller folks while retaining their size advantage. Smaller fighters can also gain weight when there aren't any fights lined up in their respective weight class. Don't know what the average weight being shedded by competitors but I would guess around 20-ish lbs, some have gone above 30 lbs but the more weight lost the more likely they'll gas out in a fight. Some competitors out there who aren't in 'fighting shape' are practicly if not borderline 'out of shape'.

Journeyman
Jul 21, 2009, 08:08 PM
Seems to be mostly 15-20lb. If it's more then sometimes fighters have to resort to draining water for the weigh-in and then replacing it by a tube or something, and that usually weakens them quite a bit. There was a fair bit of boxing contraversy when pacquiao fought de la hoya... 'golden boy' was completely owned, partly because he had to use that water-drain tactic to make weight.

Either way, with GSP he is around 190, fighting at 170. When he first entered welterweight he was 169, so he could move up to middleweight right now if he wanted to. Obviously he would be at a disadvantange since the middleweights are all 200+ normal weight.

supersquirrell
Jul 21, 2009, 09:19 PM
Well if indeed GSP started at 170 and has gained 20lbs or so over the course of time that makes sense. It just seems very obvious that some fighters are just way bigger than some of their opponents when their opponents are legitimately in that weight bracket, but i guess that's the way it has always been and it's too late to change it now.

Raja
Jul 22, 2009, 12:34 AM
Keep in mind that the weight cycling that fighters do to lose weight for a fight is disastrous on their long term health.

supersquirrell
Jul 22, 2009, 01:40 AM
Keep in mind that the weight cycling that fighters do to lose weight for a fight is disastrous on their long term health.

How disastrous exactly? I thought i heard something about damaging kidneys, what else does cutting weight affect in the long run?

FDNYceGuy
Jul 22, 2009, 05:09 PM
A few months back, through mutual acquaintances, I had the opportunity to meet Chuck Lidell. Not being his biggest fan, I asked about his training, cutting weight, etc.

Recalling that Chuck punches and kicks people for a living, he wasn't a master conversationalist, but he did manage to tell me that his walking around weight was around 235 pounds. This would mean he cuts 30 pounds to fight as a light-heavyweight. In hindsight, I believe he said it was a six to nine week process (though I may be wrong).

In my opinion, this is what made the difference his fight with Wanderlei Silva. Although they weighed the same (with Wanderlei even a little heavier) at the weigh-in, at fight time Chuck's bigger frame made Wanderlei look like a pumped up middleweight.

Short of weighing in right before the fight, I don't see any solution. However, the time and preparation necessary (when done correctly) certainly shows among the elite athletes in combat sports... and should be appreciated (sans health risks).

supersquirrell
Jul 22, 2009, 06:01 PM
Like i said previously I just started watching UFC so I don't really know all the history, but chuck lidell seems a little washed up to me. I know he was a great fighter for a long time and has done some great things and been a fan favorite and all, but he hasn't looked very good in any of the fights I have seen him in recently.
That being said, if he walks around at 235 he should be fighting at heavywieght imo. I'm assuming that heavyweights don't cut weight with the exception of brock lesnar, and at 235 I think he wouldn't be at a significant weight disadvantage. In addition, especially considering that it has been said cutting weight has health risks, cutting 30 pounds the way he looks now, I really don't know.

I really would love it if they would weigh in right before the fight, even if it didn't matter what they weighted presently as long as they made weight the day before, just so you could really know. I guess, if you want to drop 30 pounds and gain it back in 1 day knowing the risks go for it, but telling fans that this is a welterweight fight when both fighters are obviously above 190 just seems stupid to me.

texaswolf
Jul 22, 2009, 06:06 PM
Brock has to cut to make 265 before a fight I believe. That is the upper limit for heavyweights in UFC which is dumb if you ask me. Why have an upper weight limit for heavyweights?

supersquirrell
Jul 22, 2009, 06:34 PM
(roughly)
lightweight= 0-155
welterweight=156-170 15lb range
middleweight= 171-185 15 lb range
light heavyweight=186-205 20 lb range
heavyweight= 206-265 60lb range

Notice any discrepancies? Although due to cutting, any fighter walking around at 225-235 is probably cutting and fighting at light heavyweight anyway so true heavyweights are probably 235-265. They really need to add a super heavyweight class and cap heavyweight at 240ish maybe. I think the problem would be finding enough fighters to fight at 240+.
It would certainly be more interesting to watch brock lesnar have to fight guys that are within 50 lbs of him so he would have to do more than sit on their chest and pummel them senseless with his "mad skills."

Journeyman
Jul 22, 2009, 06:37 PM
Shouldn't be an upper limit for heavyweights imo...

As for weighing in right before the fight, since everyone fights 15+ pounds above the limit then no one is at a disadvantage right? Unless they are just moving up in weight. So things should be kept the way they are. Also, consider how much these guys train. They use all sorts of different methods, and of course put on some muscle during the course of training.
So if weighins were done right before the fight, a guy who's put on 5 pounds of muscle within the past year would have to move up in weight... which would mean that after a while everyone would just have to move up. Although things could get interesting that way.

Journeyman
Jul 22, 2009, 06:43 PM
(roughly)
lightweight= 0-155
welterweight=156-170 15lb range
middleweight= 171-185 15 lb range
light heavyweight=186-205 20 lb range
heavyweight= 206-265 60lb range

Notice any discrepancies? Although due to cutting, any fighter walking around at 225-235 is probably cutting and fighting at light heavyweight anyway so true heavyweights are probably 235-265. They really need to add a super heavyweight class and cap heavyweight at 240ish maybe. I think the problem would be finding enough fighters to fight at 240+.
It would certainly be more interesting to watch brock lesnar have to fight guys that are within 50 lbs of him so he would have to do more than sit on their chest and pummel them senseless with his "mad skills."

And so you said it yourself... there aren't enough guys to fight at 250+ The only problem with the huge range for heavyweight is of course the giants who have an enormous advantage. Which is probably why hong man choi was tough to beat, until Fedor came along.
Fedor was at a disadvantage of around 130lb and 13 inches height.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXmbO9Oyzb0
yeah fedor won, but that's cause he's fedor.

supersquirrell
Jul 22, 2009, 07:28 PM
Wow, 7'2" 330lbs, that's a heavyweight! Have you ever watched UFC 1? I still wonder what might have been had that 410lb sumo wrestler gotten paired up with 180lb gi-wearing hoyce gracie.

Journeyman
Jul 22, 2009, 08:38 PM
gracie would probably win but you never know.

Raja
Jul 23, 2009, 02:08 AM
How disastrous exactly? I thought i heard something about damaging kidneys, what else does cutting weight affect in the long run?

One common myth is that weight cycling causes long term weight gain, which isn't true. But it does cause serious damage to your endocrine system and prevents normal hormonal function in the body. Unless this is what you have to do for a living, then there is no point in weight cycling, and it can be quite damaging to your health.

ben1250
Jul 23, 2009, 01:21 PM
Cutting weight is a issue in any weight in type sports for example Ricky Hatton is known for cutting his weight. Takes him around 9 weeks to shed off about 3/4 stone.

supersquirrell
Jul 24, 2009, 10:27 PM
Cutting weight is a issue in any weight in type sports for example Ricky Hatton is known for cutting his weight. Takes him around 9 weeks to shed off about 3/4 stone.


If it takes 9 weeks to cut 10 pounds i doubt he puts it back on in 24 hours before a fight. I think you are just talking about someone cutting bf% so making weight is easier. The cutting weight I'm talking about is fighters cutting upwards or around 2 stone worth of water the day before a fight to make weight then put it all back on in the next 24 hours. The issue is not that a fighter that normally weighs 200 lbs is competing at 170 when they acutally weigh 170 on the mat, its a fighter that normally weighs 200lbs is competing at 170 weighing 200lb on the mat.

Beast Mode
Aug 31, 2009, 10:33 PM
Recently i have begun watching some mma, specifically ufc and ultimate fighter. I have never really watched fighting of any kind before and the whole cutting weight thing is new to me. I'm just wondering if anyone with some experience could estimate how much weight some of these guys are cutting and what they really weigh when they step onto that mat on fight day.

For example the announcers in the GSP vs Thiago alvez were saying that GSP is closer to 185 and thiago was around 200 and they are both fighting at 170? I also watched Diego Sanchez fight at 155 when the announcers were saying he won the ultimate fighter at middleweight which is 185, and brock lesnar=265?

Aren't weight classes there specifically so that 200lb guys aren't fighting 170lb guys ? I understand that weight can fluctuate quite a bit due to water, bowel movements and clothing, so I wouLD assume that alot of fighters are fighting at a weight that is heavier than listed, but 30 pounds....

On a related note how much weight can some of these guys cut and what are the health risks involved?

what you are stressing is "cutting" weight. cutting weight is done over a short period of time, and it has some short-term health effects, mainly in-fight performance (you will slow down, muscles will fatigue quickly, and you'll gas) most fighters go through weight loss, in which is done over a long period of time. Whilst weight cutting is done in 2-3 days before weigh in. ussually when fighters cut weight they are not able to loose it effectively because they were injured, or didn't train/diet properly.

what you see on the weight ins are is lean fight weight, and it's ussually gonna stay like that for a night but then most fighters, if not all go through that 1-2 pound cut just hours before weight to keep any fluids off. And they will dehydrate back again immediately after weight ins. So they should be walking around at there natural weights after the fight. Which does defer from body types to genetics from fighter to fighter.

but on fight day fighters can weight 10-20 pounds more from since their weight ins. And in that case genetics and natural body size does come to advantage to each. You will have a significant edge in battle, but size isn't always everything. Hope this helps abit.

Chilicharger665
Sep 27, 2009, 04:15 AM
I think they should just weigh in right before the fight. I don't care about the "everyone does it" argument. To be realistic, they should actually BE at the weight class they are fighting in.

Cocho
Oct 20, 2009, 10:54 AM
Ok, I don't have the permission to post links, the post count must be 20 and mine is only 9 xD but I can guide you.

Got to wikipedia, and search for; mixed matrial arts weight classes. And there you will find them.

Its all you need I think ^^

Draykid
Oct 28, 2009, 05:38 PM
It varies a lot. Brock Lesnar weighs anywhere from 270-280 on fight night, Georges St.-Pierre weighs anywhere from 180-190 on fight night, Matt Hughes walks around at 215 a lot of the time, Sean Sherk walks at 185 and cuts 30 pounds, etc.

Many fighters can also put quite a lot of weight back into their body overnight, some have already mentioned 10-20 pounds but some freaks have done more. It's not very healthy though. Best to just be more athletic and cut weight the right way.

A good example that might shock a few people is the very little amount of size difference between Matt Hughes and two much bigger opponents he faced in ADCC, Tito Ortiz and a 235 Jeff Monson. 2-3 weight classes separate and almost no actual weight difference.

Other fighters, like Tyson Griffin and Jens Pulver in his prime cut almost no weight, and came into fights at nearly the target weight class, or even below the limits.

Hope it helps.

Raja
Oct 31, 2009, 09:47 PM
Fyi, for your average joe, weight cycling can lead to serious issues. Iirc, it is strongly reccomended against by sports physicians.

Also good to know that ufc fighters are normally heavier than on fight day. Now I dont feel so bad ;)