The final UFC event of the year goes down Saturday, with UFC Busan closing out the calendar in South Korea.
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.
Frankie “The Answer” Edgar ( 23-7-1 MMA, 17-7-1 UFC)
Bantamweight (135lbs.): 0-0 (UFC)
Featherweight (145lbs.): 8-4 (UFC), UFC Featherweight Title Challenger
Lightweight (155lbs.): 9-3-1 (UFC), Former UFC Lightweight Champion
Frankie Edgar has been a UFC staple and favorite for a very long time. Edgar won the UFC belt at 155lbs against the legend BJ Penn way back in 2010. And somehow after all these years, Frankie’s name is still in the mix as one of the best fighters in the UFC.
At just 5’6″ and a 72″ reach it is arguable that Frankie should have begun his career at a much lighter weight in the first place. Many fans and even Frankie’s coaches seem to have had this idea of a lighter Edgar for quite some time now.
Frankie Edgar (@FrankieEdgar) explains that the sport is not about size but heart and balls and that is why he didn't drop down weight classes earlier in his career #UFCBusan pic.twitter.com/Fn5lcAlC6i
— John Hyon Ko [JHK] (@JHKMMA) December 19, 2019
Frankie challenged for the featherweight belt multiple times during his stint in the 145lbs weight class. Though he was not successful in his pursuit of the featherweight strap, Edgar was able to cement himself as one of the guys to beat to get a title shot in the division.
Edgar is looking to move down to bantamweight after this fight as he was actually pulled off the January 25th UFC Raleigh card to fill in for an injured Brian Ortega. Apparently Edgar still hasn’t ruled out competing in that bout but, unsurprisingly, must evaluate how he emerges from his bout with Chan Sung Jung at UFC Busan.
It should be very interesting to see how Frankie handles this weight cut and fight at featherweight because it could very well be his last.
Amanda “Amandinha” Lemos (6-1-1 MMA, UFC 0-1)
Strawweight (115lbs.): 0-0 (UFC)
Bantamweight (135lbs.): 0-1 (UFC)
Amanda has had just one fight in the UFC thus far where she was finished by standing elbows back in 2017 by Leslie Smith. Before that, Amanda was a veteran of the Brazillian Jungle Fights promotion where she also fought at 135lbs. At just 5’4″ tall and only possessing a 65″ reach Lemos is a lot smaller than the majority of the women in the UFC’s women’s bantamweight division. So the fact that she is moving down to 115lbs for her next fight is not a huge surprise. Evening the playing field in terms of physical attributes might be a good idea, but only if Amanda can make the weight without compromising her body for the fight the next day. This will be Amanda’s professional MMA debut at 115lbs, even though she has not even had a fight at 125lbs, let alone at strawweight. It will also be Lemos’ first fight in two years so she will definitely be a fighter to watch on the scale and in the cage.
Ryan “Baby Face” Benoit (10-5 MMA, 3-4 UFC)
Flyweight (125lbs.): 3-4 (UFC), Missed weight one time
Ryan Benoit had his first fight in the UFC way back in 2013. Though his record may look like one of a journeyman, Ryan has been in a lot of ultra-competitive and exciting fights. Benoit stands at 5’5″ and possesses at 68.5″ reach.
The last time Ryan stepped on the scale to weigh in for a mixed martial arts fight was back in late 2017, where he missed weight and came in at 129lbs. Benoit went on to win that bout against Ashkan Mokhtarian via head kick finish in the third round. But, Ryan competed in a grappling bout back in February of this year at the weight class of 155lbs. Benoit will definitely be a fighter to watch come weigh-in time due to a long lay off from the sport and past issue making 125lbs. However, he’s moving up a division here.