The Weight Cutting Chronicles: UFC Raleigh

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Rafael dos Anjos UFC
Rafael dos Anjos Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

The first Fight Night card of the year, UFC Raleigh, goes down this Saturday in North Carolina, and a number of fighters will be under the microscope at weigh-in.

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.

Rafael “RDA” Dos Anjos (29-12 MMA, 18-10 UFC)

Lightweight (155lbs): 14-7 (UFC), Former UFC Lightweight Champion

Welterweight (170lbs): 4-3 (UFC)

Rafael Dos Anjos has been a long-time staple of the UFC’s lightweight division. The Brazillian even won and defended the UFC lightweight strap. But after losing his title to Eddie Alvarez and then losing to Tony Ferguson, Rafael decided it was time for a change. Since moving up, RDA might not have the most impressive record, but he has fought high-level competition including the now UFC welterweight champion, Kamaru Usman. Dos Anjos has yet to be finished in any of his losses at 170lbs.

Micheal “Maverick” Chiesa (15-4 MMA, 9-4 UFC)

Lightweight (155lbs): 7-4 (UFC), Won Season 15 of The Ultimate Fighter, Missed weight 1 time

Welterweight (170lbs): 2-0 (UFC)

Micheal Chiesa is a very long fighter that has spent his entire career at lightweight, up until a couple of bouts ago. Chiesa is 6’1″ and posses a 75.5″ reach. Chiesa competed and won The Ultimate Fighter at 155lbs. Chiesa always looked great in the cage at 155lbs, but as he climbed the ranks of the UFC’s lightweight division his excessive weight cut began to cut into time spent preparing and honing his skills.

So far in his stint in the UFC’s welterweight division Micheal Chiesa has beaten Carlos Condit and Diego Sanchez. This is truly a huge fight for Chiesa as if he can beat another big name like RDA at welterweight he will prove that the elimination of the excessive weight cut really did boost his professional MMA career.

Alex Perez (22-5 MMA, 5-1 UFC)

Flyweight (125lbs): 3-1 (UFC), Missed weight 1 time

Bantamweight (135lbs): 2-0 (UFC)

Alex Perez has been nothing but exciting in his stint so far with the UFC. The 27-year-old  Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series product puts on exciting fights no matter who his opponent is. Perez has moved back and forth between the flyweight and bantamweight divisions and actually missed weight for his bout at 125lbs against Eric Shelton in early 2018, but it was just by half a pound. Perez has also fought Joseph Benavidez at bantamweight, but for this upcoming UFC Raleigh fight, he will be at flyweight.

Montel “Quick” Jackson (8-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC)

Bantamweight (135lbs): 3-1 (UFC), Missed weight 1 time.

Montel Jackson is 5’10” bantamweight with a 75.5″ reach. With that being said it is obviously a little hard for him to make 135lbs as is evident with how he has already missed weight in just a 4-fight stint with the UFC. And at 27-years old Jackson might still be able to make the excessive weight cut down to bantamweight but for how much longer? But, being so tall and lanky for the division is obviously giving Jackson an advantage on the feet where he is already very comfortable. Montel is definitely a fighter to watch on the scale and in the cage.

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