A year ago, Erik Koch was on the cusp of a title shot for the UFC featherweight belt, but now after two tough losses in a row, the Milwaukee based fighter in contemplating a weight class change.
Now typically whenever a fighter is moving weight classes, it's usually down a division to maximize weight cutting techniques as well as diet, while increasing strength and size against other fighters.
For Koch, his current problems at featherweight stem from how much weight he already has to cut, so while the final decision is still in the air, it appears his next trip to the Octagon will be as a lightweight.
"The next move, we're talking about it right now, I like to take a few days off and let everybody process it. This is going to be a team decision, me and Erik and Duke (Roufus) are going to get on the horn with each other and see and kind of go from there the best situation for Erik. I think a move to 155 is pretty likely," Koch's manager Mike Roberts said. "That cut for Erik is horrible.
"It's worse for anybody I've ever seen other than when James Irvin cut to 185. It's literally taxing on his body. Erik is lean at 170 pounds walking around, and I just think the cut is a little bit too much for him."
For those that don't remember, Irvin is a former UFC fighter who fought most of his career at either heavyweight or light heavyweight, but at one point in 2010 he made the cut down to middleweight. At the weigh ins, Irvin was a shell of himself, shriveled down and looking miserable as he shed the additional 20 pounds to move down from light heavyweight to middleweight.
In the history of the UFC, Irvin's appearance at middleweight on appearance alone was one of the most brutal experiments of weight cutting gone wrong.
While Koch looks like a lean and trimmed competitor at 145 pounds, Roberts said that the fighter typically walks around nearly 40 pounds heavier, and the move to lightweight will just allow him to be healthier and realistically, he'll already be even bigger than the man who just won the title last Saturday in Milwaukee.
"He walks around at 185 no problem. He's way bigger than Anthony Pettis," Roberts said. "We'll meet and we'll sit down and figure out what's the best move as a team together, but right now we're all leaning towards 155 and then we just need to include the UFC in that conversation."
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.
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