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The dishonor of cutting weight


I am going to jump ALL over a subject that most fight fans see as " just the way things are." That thing is cutting weight. It is most common in boxing, kickboxing, judo and wrestling. For those who don't know cutting weight is NOT trimming down so that you can fight at an optimal level and have improved cardio-vascular conditioning. Cutting weight is the practice ( usually unhealthy I might add) of dehydrating oneself in order to make a weight class AT LEAST one beneath theirs.

Here is an example: Tryon Woodley is the former UFC Welterweight Champion. That is 170 pounds and below. Tyron walks around at about 210 pounds. How can a person call themselves a welterweight camp if they are only 170 pounds for about 20 minutes before they rehydrate?

For an unfair advantage. In the world of highly competitive combat sports, the skill level is mostly even. There are not a whole lot of mismatches when talking about the elite levels of a combat sport. The difference lies mainly in strategy, and conditioning. So, any advantage that one can gain makes a huge potential difference in a fight. Strength is one of those advantages.

Let's think about it. Oscar De La Hoya is a GREAT boxer. One of the best in the world at his weight. But does anyone think that he would have a chance in a million of knocking out a similarly skilled boxer 2 weight classes higher? Me neither. When a person cuts weight, they are only at that lower weight for the weigh in period. Then, they rehydrate back to their normal size. Unfair huh? Anyone who says that size does not matter has never fought someone at their own skill level who was 20 pounds heavier. When 2 people are skilled, size DOES matter.

Maybe I am from the old school, but I thought that combat sports were supposed to be a fair, honorable contest. "Let the best person win" kind of stuff. I thought that weight classes existed so that an audience could see 2 mostly equal combatants test their skills against each other. But with cutting weight that is not the case. If a person is in a weight class from lets say, 191-203 pounds, there is already a possibility of a 12 pound differencial. Quite substantial in the fight game. Let's also say for the sake of argument that the next weight class is from 204-216. It is not inconceivable that a person who is in the comfortable middle of weight class category 1 at 196 pounds to face a weight cutter who walks around at 216 or heavier. Sure as shootin', the second fighter will be stronger, and more important have more impact protection due to their superior mass.

"The bigger they are, the harder they fall." Americans love to use that phrase. It was actually coined before a fight involving ( in my opinion) the greatest boxer of all time, Sugar Ray Robinson. Now if I may take a moment away from the topic to address the Ali fans out there. Ali was no doubt the greatest heavyweight of all time. But even HE said that Robinson was the best boxer of all time, so there :) Anyhow, back on topic. The gist of the saying is that even a big man can be defeated by a smaller more determined fighter. It was actually Sugar Ray's opponent that made the above statement, and you know what? Robinson beat that guy like he stole his lunch money. Size matters.

The idea of a combat sport is NOT to see the bigger man win. One of the most endearing traits about martial arts is that a smaller person with skill can defeat a larger but less skilled one. Nobody wants to see a big skilled guy pound a small skilled guy. Would you even GO to a demolition derby that involved a tractor and a ford Focus? Not likely. Fight people your own size. I think that weight cutters are manipulating the system, pure and simple. CHEATERS, I AM TALKING TO YOU!!!!!!!! If you lose at least you lost honorably. That is about it for today. I am going to have a cold cranberry juice, and enjoy the cool red color that they make my teeth. Peace folks!

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