Ahead of UFC Minneapolis, we look at two fighters on the card who have had tough times making weight in the past.
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.
Anthony Rocco Martin (16-4 MMA, 8-4 UFC)
Anthony Martin entered the UFC in 2014 in the lightweight division back in early 2014. Anthony is 6 feet tall and posses a 73.5″ reach. Back then Anthony Martin was an undefeated top prospect in the division. After eight fights at 155-pounds, Martin had acquired a record of 4-4, losing against some big names in the lightweight division. After Anthony’s split decision loss to Oliver Aubin-Mercier in September of 2017, he decided it was time for a change.
Martin has looked absolutely fantastic at welterweight. Anthony has beaten all four of his opponents at welterweight, finishing two of them in the third round, and all within one calendar year. The two finishes late in bouts are very significant because it is a feat that would not be as easily pulled off if Martin’s stamina was diminished from his excessive weight cut to lightweight. Martin has positioned himself for a top 15 opponent, a big payday and with a win over Demian Maia there are huge things on the horizon. All thanks to moving up in weight.
Anthony Rocco Martin quietly fought out his contract last week, and it paid off: pic.twitter.com/KxC6PA6gHt
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 5, 2018
Eryk “Ya Boy” Anders (11-4 MMA, 3-4 UFC)
Eryk Anders is currently on a three-fight losing streak in the UFC. The 6’1″ former Alabama Crimson Tide football player entered the UFC in the middleweight division but as of late, has moved up to the light heavyweight division. Anders had struggled to make weight in the middleweight division in the past, even having to weigh-in twice for his bout against Lyoto Machida in February 2018.
UFC Belem updates: Eryk Anders was given an extra hour to try to make weight because it's the main event, and hotel had issues with hot water since last night. Dodson-Munhoz and Green-Prazeres will happen.
— Guilherme Cruz (@guicruzzz) February 2, 2018
Eryk has only had two fights in the light heavyweight division. Eryk’s first fight at 205lbs. was on short notice against future light heavyweight title challenger, Thiago Santos in September of last year. Anders was forced to retire at the end of the third round of this bout after a brutal back-and-forth bout where he sustained a lot of damage and clearly was too exhausted to continue likely as a result of a shortened fight camp. In December of 2018, Anders went back to his original weight class and loss a very close split decision to the crafty Elias Theodorou, with a broken left hand. In Eryk’s last fight, his second at light heavyweight, he lost a unanimous decision to Khalil Rountree in April. The light heavyweight division has a shorter path to the title as guys like Thiago Santos and Anthony Smith have illustrated, but it has yet to be seen if Eryk has the size, power, or skill to make it there.