A natural Middleweight knocking out a natural Heavyweight. Got me to thinking. Seems around here a lot of people are pretty confused about what's going on behind the scenes and who actually weighs what come fight time. Now I am no reporter, nor do I do this for a living, and all of my resources will be off of memory so be warned. Do not expect perfection, but I have always kept an eye open on this issue and my memory is not so bad.
The biggest misconception about weight classes is that in general, majority of the classes are a muddled mess. The difference between Welterweight and Light Heavyweight is 25 pounds on paper, but come fight time, it's generally less than that, a whole lot less...
Let's look at our top weights cutter in the Welterweight Division.
Anthony Johnson has been rumored to be around 200 come fight time.
GSP was 193 against Hardy, as he put on 8 lbs of muscle after having trouble controlling Alves. Which makes Pre Hardy GSP around 185 or so.
Jon Fitch has been rumored to be around 200 pre FLEXITARIAN diet. ( Look it up. )
Dan Hardy is huge. I don't know what he weights, but he looked huge against Condit, and 193 GSP, and even he was dwarfed by Anthony Johnson still..
Rory Markham seems like another 190+ guy, he had to STOP cutting at 177.5 his weight cut was going so bad. When you physically can't cut any more weight and you are that far away, it's only because you are a huge weight cutter ala Alves and Johnson have had this trouble. This is Rory against Nate Diaz.
Paul Daley has missed weight 5 out of 11 times. Just read that the other day. Un freaking believable. You don't miss weight that many times unless you are cutting massive weight.
Johny Hendricks says he cuts from 205-210, but IMO that's probably his walk around weight, and he truly cuts from somewhere in the 190-200 range. I could be wrong, but the way the interview was worded it made me pause. As you can see, I'm pretty well educated in where these guys are at, so I would put some faith in my prediction, but you never know.
Jake Ellenberger is a freaking monster. He doesn't call himself the Juggernaut for no reason. And the guy he fought Rocha looked even bigger. I don't know what their weights were, but they seemed tremendous...
I believe Shields had to cut 20 lbs in one day to fight Kampmann. After putting on muscle to move up to MW, it doesn't seem like he's really lost any of it, just seems he's cutting more now. Compare Jake Shields against Kampmann and GSP to Shields against Daley. Two completely different bodies...
So looking at that, we can see that many successful Welterweight fighters are actually not even close to their weight class. Most of these major weight cutting guys are cutting this much weight because height becomes a factor. 5'9 Thiago Alves is just not going to survive at 185 with that height, and those short arms. He rather pass out in a sauna several times for each weight cut apparently than to fight at a more comfortable 185.
GSP is quite big as well. I'm not exactly sure what he is today, but in Kenny Florian's preview to fighting Nunez, he commented how GSP eats however he wants when he's not fighting. GSP is always working out, and probably does not need a restricted diet because he is generally in fighting shape year round. My point being, I have no heard of GSP dropping that extra 8 lbs of muscle that he gained for Hardy, post Alves. He could possibly be around his normal 185-190 range though, he seemed to have a bit of a bad cut against Hardy , either he lost the extra weight, or his body got used to it. IMO it's probably the latter. GSP is now saying he is 185 again , but that is only in regards when people start bringing up Anderson Silva.
Note to reporters. Next time you talk GSP/Silva with GSP, do your homework! GSP is blatantly shaving off every little pound he has to and adding as many as possible to Silva to try to make the fight seem like it would be a crazy weight disadvantage. It's not! GSP claims that Silva is 210-220, but that's Silva's walk around weight, and Silva happens to be a fat fighter, who plumps up when he is not fighting, unlike a GSP/Koscheck who stay fit year round. Your walk around weight is irrelevant! Anyone can eat Burger King all day and balloon up to whatever weight they want. The only two important weights are what are they weighing in at, and what are they fighting at. Reporters , note this to GSP.
GSP, you have noted yourself to be in the 185-193 weight range on several occasions throughout your career. Anderson Silva, has never been noted to have been a weight cutter, and is even noted on snacking on things a real weight cutter would be buried for. Anderson weighed in at 182 against Thales Leites, and he used to fight at 170 years ago. Although Silva looks like a monster, and was not dwarfed at all by even huge 205er Forrest Griffen, his weight is just not as much as it seems. He's not a muscular guy, and he's a thin, wiry strong guy, who has length and skills.
It's highly likely that when GSP fought Dan Hardy and commented that his weight was 193, that Anderson Silva actually probably weighed less than that when he fought Thales Leites! Talk about a head scratcher!
So the Welterweight champ has weighed more for a title fight, than the Middleweight champ has for his title fight? What is the purpose of the weight classes then? Unbelievable stuff huh? Even if they have been lying about Silva and he actually does cut weight, it would not be anymore than 10 lbs. A guy like Anderson Silva, a non wrestler, who's 6'2 , who's extremely skilled, and does not have endless cardio, is not going to be your average huge weight cutter guy. Guys who are true WW/LW/MW etc,etc, generally cut 10 lbs max. If you are a " true Welterweight" you are Ben Askren, Josh Koscheck. ( I believe ).
So for Penn/GSP 2 , I believe we had a 168 chubby Penn with clothes on I think, and GSP , who is suggested to have been 185 or around there. That's a 15 lb weight difference guys. That's a whole weight class.
Let's check out our Lightweight fighters. From memory, the big guys are
and obviously the King of All that is Weight Cutting Gleason Tibau who supposedly is around 180 fight time in a 155 weight limit fight. That's insane.
The other 3 guys are all around the 170 range from what I recall, my memory is not so great on LW. I recall Spencer Fisher even having to cut 20 lbs in a day against who I can't recall.
Dan Henderson fights a HW fight at 207. Chael Sonnen fights a MW fight at 207 (Against Nate).
So as you can see, there's really not as big of a weight difference between the WW-LHW scene as people think. People are generally forced to cut massive amounts of weight if their height isn't enough for a division. Guys who don't cut weight at all, combined with guys who cut massive amount of weight, actually can have a WW fighting at the same weight as a LHW come fight time.
The WW champion, is all likelihood is heavier than the MW champion during an actual title fight. I mean, how insane is that. Yet, claims that " weight " is an issue. GSP needs to be called out on this, and people need to start being more informed of how these " weight classes " really work.