UFC After Flyweight: Bridging the Gap Between the Heavyweight Classes
Between the two heaviest divisions in the UFC exists an enormous gap. The weight limit for a fighter competing in the UFC Light Heavyweight division tops out at 205 pounds (93.0Kg), while the UFC Heavyweight division limit stands at a colossal 265 pounds (120.2Kg).
When this difference is compared with the remaining divisions in the UFC, the weight limits range from a 10 pound difference all the way up to a 20 pound difference between Middleweight and Light Heavyweight. The inclusion of a Cruiserweight division at 205 pounds, and a shift of the Light Heavyweight limit to 230 pounds would solve a lot of the problems plaguing the higher weight classes.
The fans would begin to see more competitive fights among the higher weight classes, simply because of the buffer zone created in between the 205 pound and 265 pound limit. The current heavyweight fighters that usually fight in the ballpark of 230-250 pounds could easily cut weight to compete in the new Light Heavyweight division.
Fighters like Cain Velasquez could move down a weight class with relative ease, while fighters that are making progress in cleaning out their division (i.e. Jon Jones) could make a smoother transition to a higher weight class to test their skills against new opponents.
The inclusion of a Cruiserweight division would fix a lot of the issues that exist for fighters that are too big for Light Heavyweight, but not big enough to deal with the mammoth size of heavyweights such as Shane Carwin or Alistair Overeem. The heaviest of the heavyweights usually have to cut down to the 265 pound limit, and come fight time they have often ballooned far past the heavyweight limit.
This leads to one sided beat downs where the size of the opponent plays an immense role in determining the outcome of the fight.While size is a factor in determining who will win a fight, it should not be the main factor. The inclusion of this new division would create an even playing field among the higher weight classes.
It would even encourage some of the lighter heavyweight fighters to drop down a weight class to re-establish themselves and avoid gatekeeper status. However, the most exciting result of adding this new weight class would be the increased likelihood of fantasy fights. The idea of champion versus champion fights in the higher weight classes has not worked out well for the UFC.
A 205 pound champion trying to dethrone a heavyweight behemoth is unrealistic with the weight limit gap that currently exists. After the inclusion of the Flyweight division, serious consideration should be given by the UFC to include the Cruiserweight division. Give the fans what they want—a leveled playing field that will generate exciting fights and matchups with the higher weight classes.
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