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.
Anthony “Lionheart” Smith (33-16 MMA, 8-6 UFC)
Middleweight (185lbs): 4-3 (UFC)
Light heavyweight (205lbs): 4-3 (UFC), Former UFC Light Heavyweight Title Challenger
Anthony Smith is a veteran in the UFC and one of the best examples for the Weight Cutting Chronicles Series thanks to his title run after moving up in weight back in 2018. At 6’4″ and a 76″ reach, Smith was focusing a lot on his weight cut as opposed to the actual opponent for his upcoming fights. Smith beat good opponents in the UFC at middleweight but moved up to light heavyweight after a loss to Thiago Santos in early 2018.
Smith immediately went on a hot streak at 205lbs, rattling off three finish wins, with two of those being over former UFC champions. Rashad Evans, Mauricio Rua, and Volkan Oezdemir all fell in 2018 on the way to Smith’s unsuccessful title shot against Jon Jones in early 2019.
Since then, Smith has only beaten Alexander Gustafssson, before falling to two high-level contenders in Glover Teixeria and Aleksandar Rakic in his most recent fights. Lionheart now has the same record at 205lbs as he did at 185lbs. He will look to get back in the win column on November 28 at UFC Vegas 15.