Weight – ing For The Bell…Weighing In On Weight Classes In MMA.

The Truth TurcottCorrespondent IOctober 19, 2009

   Good morning “Sports Fans.” The sun is shining, I have my favourite cup filled to the brim with some good ‘ol fashioned Vitamin C, the C being Caffeine.

   You see the headlines in various sports all the time about steroids and doping. Baseball records being crushed by players/athletes juiced up on performance enhancing drugs.

   The very same athletes that we cheer for and tell our kids to look up to or strive to be like. The “Just say no to drugs,” campaign never made it in to the locker rooms of the sporting big time it seems.

   When the fans find out the news, they cry foul, they disown the player, call for his or her head on a platter and want them out of the game. No one likes a cheat…or do they?????????

   Does Barry Bonds still own the Home Run Record??? Is A-Rod still swinging a bat in Major League Baseball? I believe they do while Roger Maris “God rest his soul” turns in his grave.

   I know you’re all asking, “What in the blue hell does this have to do with MMA? Well “Sports Fans” nothing and everything.

   I won’t pretend to know what the criteria is for testing in MMA. I couldn’t tell you if they test athletes only for title fights or if they test all fighters. Before? After? I don’t have the specifics.

   It’s obvious the U.F.C. does testing after title fights, Sherk vs Franca comes to mind. And Affliction apparently did some testing before title fights, Feardor vs Barnett.

   My question is: What’s the difference? Why would performance enhancing drugs be an issue in MMA? Or why should it be? Before you “weigh” in on this hear me out.
   Steroids help build muscle, strength, and performance. Giving the athlete that takes them an unfair advantage over an opponent that isn’t taking them.

   What about weight?

   Over the years Boxing and MMA have had press conferences for Weigh Ins a day or two before the big event takes place. At these all important Weigh Ins the athletes step up on a scale (sometimes hidden by a towel) to meet the required weight to be able to fight. I believe there’s a half pound of leeway that a fighter can be over.

   Cutting Weight for a fight has been going on for years in boxing, and various other contact sports. Cutting weight usually happens as a result of a fighter/athlete competing at their natural weight and not being strong enough, or competitive enough.

   To give the fighter an advantage the coaches or promoters have the athlete drop a weight class which usually is between 15-20 pounds depending on the sport and organization.

   As most fights are scheduled months in advance, the athlete trains and works his weight down to the required weight come Weigh In day. Once past the scale the fighter then fuels and waters up. This literally means that in 24-48 hours the fighter/athlete gains back the 15-20 pounds he lost thus giving him a possible weight advantage over his opponent.

   I can hear you all saying, “Well the other guy has the same opportunity,” or something along that line, but that’s not necessarily true. The other fighter may not weigh as much naturally.

   Is this any less advantageous than taking steroids?

   I believe the Weigh In should happen as the fighter enters the ring, or “Octagon.” The promotion or organization should have 4 fighters prepared to fight that night. If one fighter fails to make weight, they have a stand in. If both fighters fail then they have two fighters ready to go. In the case of a title fight or contender fight…coming in overweight means a disqualification.

   I believe by doing it this way we’d be less likely to see the same kind of domination in a weight class such as we’ve seen by Anderson Silva and GSP. Don’t get me wrong, both of these guys are superb athletes and unbelievably talented fighters. They just might not be as dominant if they are fighting at their natural weight.

   Well we’re on the subject of Weight Classes, I strongly believe we need a Weight Class between Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight. Call it what you will…I like Cruiserweight, starting at 206 lbs - 230 lbs. We can start calling them Heavyweights at 231 lbs -265 lbs. From 265 lbs and up, I like the Super Hulk name that Pride and Dream use (don’t quote me on that) for the Super Heavyweight Division.

   What I’m wondering “Sports Fans” is? If it’s wrong/illegal to take Steroids/Performance Enhancing Drugs to gain an advantage over an opponent, then why isn’t it wrong/illegal to fight with a definitive weight advantage? Just wondering “Sports Fans.”