The Weight Cutting Chronicles – UFC Wichita: Means, Martin, and Kunitskaya

UFC Atlantic City Tony Martin (Anthony Rocco Martin)
Anthony Rocco Martin Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

UFC Wichita is this weekend and the card features three fighters who have been a part of multiple weight classes in their career.

Like it or not, weight-cutting is deeply rooted in mixed martial arts. MMA adopted its weight-cutting from the sport of wrestling, where it is presumed to be very advantageous to be the biggest and strongest in your weight class. Known as the ‘fight before the fight,‘ most UFC fighters cut anywhere from 5-25 pounds, with some fighters even in excess of 30 pounds.

Weight-cutting is the ultimate test of discipline and willpower. Many fighters in the sport consider it very unprofessional to miss weight. In this series, we will shine a light on fighters who cut a massive amount of weight, who have missed weight multiple times in the past, who have made weight-class changes, along with how the weight-cut and weigh-in could affect possible upcoming match-ups. Basically, every aspect of weight-cutting and how it affects the fight game in the UFC.

Tim “The Dirty Bird” Means (28-10-1 MMA, 10-7 UFC)

Tim Means is a UFC staple and has been in both the lightweight and most recently the welterweight divisions of the promotion. This will be his 18th fight with the promotion. The vast majority of Tim’s fights in the UFC have been at 170-pounds but not everyone knows that he has had fights at 155 in the UFC. Means had three fights at lightweight before he weighed in heavy at 160-pounds and promptly moved up to the welterweight division. It was a very short-lived stint in the lightweight division but this was without a doubt good for the overall success and longevity of his fighting career in the long run. Means has been in a bit of a slump lately but won his last bout.

Anthony Martin (15-4 MMA, 7-4 UFC)

Anthony Martin is on a three-fight win streak that began after his move up in weight class. Martin is 29-years-old and has faced elite competition in the UFC during his career. Martin faced Oliver Aubin-Mercier in April of 2018 where he lost a razor-close split decision bout and decided he had had enough of the lightweight division. Martin moved up to welterweight began to polish his resume and fill his trophy room. Anthony beat Keita Nakamura by unanimous decision and finished Ryan LaFlare and Jake Matthews in the third rounds of his bouts with them. These three men are high-level competition and have combined professional mixed martial arts records of 61-13-2.

Yana “Foxy” Kunitskaya (11-4 MMA, 1-1 UFC)

Yana Kunitskaya is a former bantamweight champion under the Invicta banner, but before that, she had fought at a heavier weight class of 145-pounds. After capturing the Invicta belt in 2017, Yana got the coveted call from the UFC. There was just one catch, they were offering a fight which would be at featherweight and Yana had not fought at a heavier division than bantamweight since 2012. And it would be a title challenge against one of the most feared women in MMA, Cris Cyborg. Yana would step up and take on the challenge. Kunitskaya was very quickly completely overwhelmed by the champion’s power on the feet, dropped, and bombarded with fists on the ground until the fight was stopped in the first round.

For Yana’s second bout she moved back down to the bantamweight division in which she had previously had success. Kunitskaya has a 5’8″ frame and at bantamweight, she would beat her next opponent, Lina Lansberg by unanimous decision at UFC 229 showing she here to compete in the UFC. For this upcoming bout at UFC Wichita, Kunitskaya will again be competing at 135 as she faces Marion Reneau.