FanPost

Will Jones cause a migration of LHWs to MW?

With Jon Jones quickly becoming one of the most dominating champions, what will happen to the other elite level fighters in the Light Heavyweight division? Rua, Jackson, and Machida probably won’t be getting another LHW title shot any time soon, but what if they dropped to MW?

UFC Middleweight is a much weaker division when compared to recognition and star power of Light Heavyweight. For example, Mark Munoz is the #3 ranked UFC Middleweight. I’m not saying this to knock Munoz’s skills (he’s very talented) but in terms of fan recognition he can’t even compare with names like Jackson, Rua, Henderson, Machida, Griffin, etc. A little name recognition can go a long ways. It is known that UFC title shots aren’t given strictly because of skill and records alone. Any of the top 10 guys at LHW would probably be only one or two wins away from a MW title shot, if they were to drop down.

After the jump I’ll break it down, by fighter, in terms of whether they are capable of cutting to 185 and if they might consider making the move if it was possible.

Mauricio Rua

Could he cut the weight?

Rua is 6’1 and 30 years old. To my knowledge, he has never competed below 205. But I don’t think he is cutting a ton of weight to make LHW. Most Brazilian fighters don’t cut the large amount of weight we see from US fighters like Rumble Johnson and Forrest Griffin. I don’t think he would be drawn out at 185 with the right diet and the proper cutting technique. I think he could safely cut to 185.

Would he do it?

Rua dropped his last two fights to Jones and Henderson. I don’t think he anticipates getting another shot at the LHW title any time soon. The thought of Rua fighting at 185 would be as exciting for fans as much as it would be terrifying for the majority of fighters in the MW division. The only deterrent is if he’s unwilling to eventually fight fellow Brazillian, Anderson Silva, for the title. I’m not sure what Rua’s relationship with Anderson Silva is like, but if Rua did cut to 185 you can bet he’d be in the title “mix” pretty quickly.

Rampage Jackson

Could he cut the weight?

Jackson is 6’1 and 33 years old. From what I know about Jackson, he walks around fairly heavy between training camps. He entered his training camp at 240 when he began training for Matt Hamill. At this point in his career I don’t think he could (or would be motivated to) compete at 185. I think Jackson knows that he won’t be considered as a serious title contender during the Jones era. He will likely remain as one of the top 205ers for the rest of his career.

Lyoto Machida

Could he cut the weight?

Machida is 6’1 and 33. He has fought at 214 and even 225 in the past. He looked good at the weigh-ins for the Jones fight. While he might have a slightly more challenging cut to 185 than Rua, I think he could do it with the proper nutrition and technique.

Would he do it?

You have to admit, seeing Machida fight anyone at 185 would be really interesting. He does keep in contact with Silva, but I’m not sure if this would prevent the two from fighting. After becoming Jones’ most recent victim, Machida might want to get in contact with a good nutritionist and then complete a test cut to 185 and see how he feels.

Rashad Evans

Can he finally beat Jones if he defeats Davis and gets his title shot? Well, I wouldn’t bet a dime against Jones at this point. For the sake of this discussion, let’s say Rashad eventually loses to Jones.

Could he cut the weight?

At 5’11 and 32 years old, Rashad is one of the shorter LHWs. Although he used to fight at 225, I think Rashad has the best chance of making 185 out of the previous fighters I mentioned. As a former wrestler, Rashad has the right knowledge and techniques needed to help him smoothly transition to 185.

Would he do it?

Consider it a Psychic Octopus prediction that after Rashad loses his inevitable fight with Jones, he will cut to 185. He has the speed, technical striking and wrestling needed to beat any UFC Middleweight (with the possible exception of Silva). He would also be competing against fighters closer to his size, instead of the 6’4 Jones.

Next I’ll quickly go through some of the other LHWs Jones hasn’t beaten yet.

Dan Henderson

Could he cut the weight?

Dan is 40 now, and while he has fought more at 185 than anyone else I mentioned, it could be hazardous to Dan’s health to continue cutting weight at his age.

Would he do it?

If I was forced to pick one of the current LHWs to beat Jones, I would have to go with Henderson. The possible scenario has been mentioned before; an overconfident Jones charges in and eats an H-bomb to the head. With that said, I think Bones is too smart to walk into that. Henderson will probably end up fighting at Franklinweight.

Forrest Griffin

Could he cut the weight?

No. Forrest is 6’3 and already cuts a ton of weight to make 205. I don’t think he could comfortably fight at Middleweight.

Phil Davis

Could he cut the weight?

At 6’2 and with a wrestling background I have a feeling Davis is already cutting a good amount of weight to make 205. At 27 years old, his career will be long enough to rebound from potential losses to Evans or Jones and continue to improve. I think he will remain at the top of 205 for the foreseeable future.

So, BE, what do you think, is there anyone else at 205 who might just say, “Fuck it, I don’t ever want to fight Jones, I’m gonna stop eating poptarts and cut to 185.”? Does anyone have more insight as to how much weight Rua and Machida are currently cutting?

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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