Could Randy Couture vs. Brandon Vera Be the Launching Point for a New Division?

Jesse MotiffSenior Analyst INovember 13, 2009

PORTLAND, OR - AUGUST 28: UFC heavyweight fighter Randy Couture weighs in at the UFC 102: Couture vs. Nogueira Weigh-In at the Rose Garden Arena on August 28, 2009 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

One topic that has picked up steam lately has been the talk of a new weight division being added to the UFC.

Talk first began after the Randy Couture-Brock Lesnar title fight for the Heavyweight Championship. Many saw Lesnar having an unfair advantage over Couture due to a 60-pound weight differential.

Despite any advantage Lesnar had, Couture was able to overcome it. Several times he was taken to the ground by his heavier opponent only to use his speed and positioning to work his way back to his feet.

The proposed new division could take form in a few different ways. The weight class would range between 205 to 225 or 230 pounds. Some have proposed calling it the cruiserweight division, while others feel it should be the new heavyweight division.

Fighters like Lesnar, Shane Carwin, and Cain Velasquez would fight in the super-heavyweight division.

Couture would seem to be a prime candidate for the new proposed division. He was quite small compared to most of the current heavyweights, but he walks around at 220 pounds and cuts down to the 205 limit for the light-heavyweight division.

Couture wasn't necessarily opposed to adding a new weight class when asked about it on Wednesday on the UFC's conference call, but it also didn't seem like he would push for it. 

"I'm happy with the weight classes the way they are," Couture said. "I may be small for a heavyweight, but I've been fairly effective there. Whatever makes sense for the sport would be best, but I don't know whether it's really gaining any traction or if it would happen."

Brandon Vera seemed more open to the idea and thought it could help grow the sport.

"The sport is growing and will need more main events, so it would make sense to add one."

While being open to a new division, Vera doesn't mind the weight differential between himself and the larger fighters currently in the heavyweight division.

"I've fought bigger guys and didn't have a problem with it, but adding a new division could make new stars and build the sport even more."

Vera is right in saying the new division could potentially make new stars, but it is a process that would take a few years to fully adjust to.

Initially, the light-heavyweight division would be depleted of several fighters, but it also may give opportunities to fighters like Chuck Liddell and Couture to stick around longer and fight different opponents. While some will be opposed to that thought, they are two of the biggest draws in the sport and would be good for the division at its inception.

Adding smaller heavyweight fighters to a division with the heavier light-heavyweight fighters would be an interesting twist to the sport. It would spark great debate and interest among fans, as well as give a whole new group of fighters a chance for greatness.

The division may not be formed for another couple of years, but Randy Couture and Brandon Vera could very well be laying the foundation for the division with their clash on Saturday night.


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