Ahead of UFC Sacramento, we take a look at the fighters who have changed weight classes throughout their careers in the Octagon.
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.
Germaine “The Iron Lady” de Randaime (8-3 MMA, 5-1 UFC)
Featherweight (145lbs.): 1-0, Former Inaugural UFC Featherweight Champion (0 successful defenses)
Bantamweight (135lbs.): 4-1
Germaine de Randaime is a very large woman at 5’10” and possessing a 72.5″ reach. This is massive for the 135-pound division where Germaine spent the majority of her time in the UFC. Germaine moved up to featherweight when the opportunity randomly presented itself, and she was able to squeeze off a controversial win against Holly Holm to capture the first ever Women’s Featherweight title. But, besides this bout that The Iron Lady is the most known for in the UFC, all of her other fights have been at 135. Germaine has looked amazing in the Octagon at this weight class as her dangerous Muay Thai striking is fully on display and her power really puts women in trouble fast.
Josh Emmett (14-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC)
Featherweight (145lbs.): 3-1, missed weight one time
Lightweight (155lbs.): 2-1
Josh Emmett is a very powerful puncher and has always been so, no matter the weight class. That’s just how Emmett is built, like a tank, at 5’7″ and possessing a 70″ reach. Emmett is one of the fan favorites of the UFC because of his very brutal fight style and his heavy reliance on boxing. Emmett always throws bombs and puts on a show. After losing his perfect record in a split decision loss to Des Green in April 2017, Emmett moved down the featherweight and never looked back. Save for a brutal knockout loss to Jeremy Stephens and a weigh-in miss at 148.5-pounds in another bout Emmett has looked phenomenal at featherweight. In his last fight, he absolutely starched UFC staple, Michael Johnson in the third round with an overhand right earlier in March of this year.
Josh Emmett just slept Michael Johnson 😱 pic.twitter.com/w9Q0AyRoc1
— BRAWL UNIVERSE 🌐 (@BrawlUniverse) March 31, 2019
Karl “Baby K” Roberson (7-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC)
Middleweight (185lbs.): 2-1
Light Heavyweight (205lbs.): 1-1
Karl Roberson is a promising 28-year-old prospect who is 6’1″ and possesses a 74″ reach. Karl is definitely not a huge light heavyweight but Roberson started off his UFC career by earning a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series. Baby K really impressed when he finished his opponent in the very first round of the 2017 season of DWTNCS. This was at 205, and as soon as Roberson was accepted into the UFC he moved down to the middleweight weight class.
#UFCBrooklyn weigh-in results:
Karl Roberson (@karlbabyk) – 203.8lbs pic.twitter.com/jK0M9rzDSE
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) January 18, 2019
Nicco Montaño (4-2 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
Flyweight (125lbs.): 1-0, The Ultimate Fighter Season 26 winner, Former Inaugural UFC Women’s Flyweight Champion (0 successful defenses)
Bantamweight (135lbs.): 0-0
Nicco Montaño burst on the scene after she stormed through her season of the Ultimate fighter beating Roxanne Modafferi in the finale to capture the first ever UFC Women’s Flyweight title in early December of 2017. Unfortunately, after this, Nicco would not fight for a while, and when she finally did attempt to defend her title during September of the next year against Valentina Schevchenko, she was hospitalized due to the weight cut. Fans and Valentina immediately jumped on Nicco for ducking the bout and not being serious about wanting to defend her flyweight title. Seeing this, the UFC promptly stripped Nicco of her flyweight belt and she has been forced to move up to the bantamweight division where she is making her debut this Saturday.
"I'm going to be choking back some tears."@NiccoMontano is expecting an emotional walk to the Octagon when she returns to the cage for her first bout since 2017. #UFCSacramento pic.twitter.com/FXnboYCauD
— UFC News (@UFCNews) July 11, 2019
Ryan “The Wizard” Hall (7-1 MMA, 3-0 UFC)
Featherweight (145lbs.): 1-0
Lightweight (155lbs.): 2-0, The Ultimate Fighter Season 22 Winner
Ryan Hall is another Ultimate Fighter winner who is looking like he will have a promising career in the UFC. The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wizard hasn’t been the most active, only taking three fights in about four years. In Ryan Hall’s last time out, he faced the legend, BJ Penn and successfully finished him in the first round with a beautiful heel hook submission. This fight was at lightweight. At 34-years-old, Hall is taking just his second fight in the UFC at featherweight, his first one being against Gray Maynard at the end of 2016.
Ryan Hall with the beautiful submission on BJ Penn.#UFC232 pic.twitter.com/kFPGHM0SV5
— Bruce Matson (@MetricScout) December 30, 2018