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 (23-8-1 MMA, 17-8-1 UFC)
Bantamweight (135lbs): Making UFC and Career Debut at UFC Vegas 7
Featherweight (145lbs): 8-5 (UFC), UFC Featherweight Title Challenger
Lightweight (155lbs): 9-3-1 (UFC), Former UFC Lightweight Champion
Frankie Edgar began his UFC career over 13 years ago at UFC 67: All or Nothing, way back when they were still naming fight cards. Edgar has been a staple in the UFC’s lightweight and featherweight divisions, always in the upper tier of competition as either a champion or top contender.
Frankie stands at 5’6″ and posses a 72″ reach, and he doesn’t walk around that heavy. At around 160lbs Edgar, by today’s standards, was very undersized for lightweight as he didn’t cut much weight. But as his legendary trilogy with the much larger Gray Maynard proved, it’s not always the larger man that wins the day.
After an amazing stint at lightweight including a reign as the 155lbs champ, Edgar moved down to 145lbs in early 2013 to take on one of the best featherweights of all time in Jose Aldo, in a championship bout for his debut in the weight class. Edgar wouldn’t win the title at featherweight that night or the other two times that he ‘climbed the mountain’ to challenge for the title at 145lbs. But overall, Edgar was very dominant at featherweight during his stint at the weight class he was just unable to capture the belt. Also worth noting, that when Edgar was stopped for the first time in his career, it took place at featherweight, in his fight against Brian Ortega in 2018.
Now Edgar, after being finished again in his last fight by Chang Sung Jung at the end of 2019, 4 fight cancelations, and months of waiting will get his shot to make a debut at bantamweight.