The Weight Cutting Chronicles: UFC Vegas 18

Frankie Edgar Bantamweight UFC
Frankie Edgar, UFC 240 Official Weigh-in Credit: Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

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 (24-8-1 MMA, 18-8-1 UFC)

Bantamweight (135lbs): 1-0 (UFC)

Featherweight (145lbs):  8-5 (UFC), UFC Featherweight Title Challenger

Lightweight (155lbs): 9-3-1 (UFC), Former UFC Lightweight Champion

Frankie Edgar has had a very long and successful UFC career full of many accolades. Edgar has fought in three different weight classes since joining the UFC back in 2007.

Standing at just 5’6″ tall and with a 66″ reach, Edgar was still able to capture the belt at lightweight back in 2010. This feat clearly displays just how far the sport of MMA has come in terms of cutting weight as everyone in the 155lb division today would tower over Frankie.

Edgar moved down to featherweight in 2013 and was able to amass another very good run at the title in the 145lb division. Unfortunately, during that run Edgar was stopped for the first time in his career against Brian Ortega in 2018. To add insult to injury this bout was litterally to decide who would fight for the belt at 145lbs. After securing a win aginst Cub Swanson and losing to Max Holloway for the belt, Edgar was finished again by Chan Sung Jung. Both Ortega and Jung are stellar opponents, against an older Edgar that has taken lots of damage over the course of his MMA career. Which are likely the two major factors to blame for the two first round KOs, but a larger weight cut absolutely played a factor too. In any case, Edgar took this opportunity to again move down as many fighters at featherweight are still much larger than him and carry a lot more power.

Edgar had an amazing showing in his first fight in the bantamweight division against Pedro Munhoz last August, winning a controversial split decision. Edgar looked great on the scale and was able to put on a vintage performance in a high output five-round back and forth fight. Frankie took lots of hard shots, showing off his granite chin and pushed the pace for all five rounds, with his cardio never looking like a problem. Now 39 years old, Edgar is defying the odds and will take his second fight at bantamweight, a division where he likely should have always had been competing, in a bout to determine who will fight for the bantamweight strap.