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Should There Be A Cutoff For Heavyweights?

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Going into training camp to prepare against Roy Nelson, Mark Hunt reportedly weighed about 340 pounds. With 24 hours left until the weigh-ins, news broke that Hunt had to drop 18 pounds and there was speculation that he might not make the cut….but he did.  At the post-fight press conference Hunt said that was never the case, that he had to lose just eight or nine pounds, definitely not the reported 18.

It is an ironic situation; you are a heavyweight, yet you have to cut weight for the “heavyweight” division? This division has a huge gap to begin with, ranging from 206 to 265 pounds. When fans think of heavyweights, mostwant to see titans, the “big boys”, the “heavy sluggers.”

I still remember seeing goliaths such as Tela Tuli in the first UFC, to Zuluzinho in Pride’s glorious days, and amazed to see what would happen (albeit not successful, still head turners).

Tela Tuli would have a bit of a hard time fighting in today’s UFC. He was about 434 pounds so he would need to drop a couple of pounds.

To have a cutoff weight for the heavyweight division is absurd. Hunt is not the first person to cut weight to 265 pounds. Brock Lesnar would weigh around 285-290 pounds during his UFC days and he would cut to 265. Antonio Silva is another big man with his build that easily walks around 290 pounds. If anything at all, why not make the heavyweight division more narrow, such as 206-235, and incorporate a super heavyweight division for 236 and up?

Big Dudes Need Love

We keep seeing Dana White adding smaller and smaller fighters in the UFC, heck even new divisions for the women. Big dudes need love too! I remember when competing in judo, I had to compete in the “super heavyweight division”, which was anyone over 220 pounds. In those tournaments, the weight classes were a little closer in weight compared to MMA and the weigh-ins were the morning of competition, pretty much the same thing for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournaments. The fact is, bigger competitors were welcome, and they did showcase their skills.

The whole situation with the weigh in process overall needs improvement. There are too many competitors who take the advantage of cutting weight and then come into the fight 15-plus pounds heavier than the fight is set for. It is also very unhealthy with the dehydrating of the body. Dana White has addressed this situation and there are talks of a potential same day weigh in to eliminate this. No matter what the situation is, the heavyweight division needs to either split and welcome fighters over 265, or simply eliminate the 265 pound cutoff and welcome bigger fighters, and worry less about weight cutting.