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.
Conor “The Notorious” McGregor (22-5 MMA, 10-3 UFC)
Featherweight (145lbs.): 7-0 (UFC), Former UFC Featherweight Champion
Lightweight (155lbs.): 1-2 (UFC), Former UFC Lightweight Champion
Welterweight (170lbs.): 2-1 (UFC)
Conor McGregor’s historic run at featherweight and his swift capturing of the belt at lightweight to become the UFC’s first double champ was truly incredible. Because of this extremely impressive winning run and Conor’s patented, brash trash talk he has become a household name and secured huge mega fights, brand deals and a spot atop the Forbes list of highest paid athletes.
But likely none of this would have been possible without McGregor’s crazy run at 145lbs in the UFC, and his ability to cut a lot of weight. It’s well known and documented that ‘The Notorious One’ cut a large amount of weight to make it down to the featherweight division and aesthetically easily had one of the scariest looking cuts in recent UFC history. Thanks in part to cutting so much weight, Conor’s absurd punching power produced 6 finishes out of his 7 fights at featherweight. (Though its undeniable Conor is a special athlete with crazy power it is also undeniable that being such a large man in the 145lbs weight class was a defining variable in the Irishman’s ‘crazy power’ at featherweight)
At lightweight Conor was able to snag the belt with another KO finish to become the first ever double UFC champion. But thanks to inactivity and tough opponents McGregor has not captured a win at lightweight since his first UFC fight at 155lbs. On paper, McGregor has actually seen more success at 170lbs where he basically cuts no weight at all, than he has at 155lbs (McGregor walks around in training camp around 170lbs.)
McGregor will be looking to get his revenge on Dustin Poirier at UFC 264, after losing the pair’s rematch earlier this year.