UFC Ottawa’s weight-cutting scene is marked by several fighters who can’t quite figure out which division to call home.
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.
This week, we look at the “Tweeners” from UFC Ottawa.
Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (35-11 MMA, 22-8 UFC)
A name and face that all true mixed martial arts fans know and love. Cowboy is the all time leader in wins as well as finishes in the UFC and always brings action with his high paced fighting style. Cowboy has switched between 170lbs and 155lbs often in his career. Donald is a fighter that one could argue would be perfect for the fabled 165lbs weight class; as such Cowboy is the definition of at “tweener” as he is dead in between both the welterweight and lightweight weight classes.
Cowboy has been on a little hot streak as of late after he stopped Mike Perry in just the first round, via armbar, at UFC Denver last November. Cowboy then announced that he was chasing the belt and that he wanted another shot in the lightweight division. He got his wish in January of this year when he got to fight up and coming, Alexander Hernandez. Cerrone completely outclassed Hernandez and TKO’d him in the second round. Now, at UFC Ottawa, Cowboy is facing a real high level competitor at lightweight in Al Iaquinta. Can Cerrone still perform while diminished at lightweight, aging, and against a top ranked opponent? This will be a real test for Donald and he passes it, his path back to the lightweight title could very well be within grasp.
Marc-André “Power Bar” Barriault (11-1 MMA,0-0 UFC)
Barriault is looking to make his UFC debut at UFC Ottawa. Power Bar has predominantly been in the middleweight weight class of 185lbs., but his last fight and a couple of others were at 205lbs. Barriault has even missed weight at 185lbs a few years ago. Marc-André is 6’0″ tall and possesses a 73″ reach, very average to bellow average statistics for the middleweight division and certainly the light heavyweight division of an organization such as the UFC. Barriault will be a fighter to watch on the scale as well one to watch come fight night to see how he adjusts to the bright lights against Andrew Sanchez.
Andrew “El Dirte” Sanchez (10-4 MMA, 3-2 UFC)
Andrew Sanchez is The Ultimate Fighter Season 23 winner, he stands at 6’1″ and possesses a 76″ reach. Sanchez currently fights at middleweight, but when he was on the show he fought at light heavyweight. Sanchez weighted in well under the light heavy weight limit of 206lbs (right at around 200lbs) on more than one occasion on the show. After beating Khalil Rountree on the TUF finale, Sanchez immediately dropped down a weight class to 185lbs. Since this drop Sanchez is 2-2 in the UFC with two losses coming by finishes in the 3rd round to Ryan Janes and Anthony Smith. Sanchez has never missed weight but it is very impressive that he won a whole competition at a heavier weight class.
Kyle “The Monster” Nelson (12-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC)
Kyle Nelson is 5’10” and possesses a 71″ reach, some pretty impressive stats for a featherweight. But, Nelson has bounced back and forth between featherweight and lightweight for his entire professional MMA career. Both of Nelson’s 2 career losses are at 155lbs, the most recent being a second round ground and pound finish, a brutal welcome to the UFC by Diego Ferreira. Now, for UFC Ottawa’s prelims, the monster is going back down to 145lbs to try and get his first win with the organization.