Finding Footing at Welterweight

ufc-espn+10The balance of weight classes in combat sports has always been one of the most interesting and challenging aspects of the sport.

In any combat sport whether it be wrestling, boxing or martial arts there is always an obsession over weight classes.

The UFC had no use for weight classes until they began running towards legalization and away from their original thoughts.

Since that time fighters have been looking to find the right balance when it comes to where they fight in the system.

It is a constant battle for every fighter as they all look to make the most out of what they naturally have as an athlete.

A fighter will almost always choose to fight below what their natural weight class would be in order to get a competitive advantage.

If they were able to easily cut to one weight they usually make the tougher weight cut to a weight class below.

This will make them the bigger fighter which means that they bring power into every fight and if they were to go to the ground they are the heavier fighter making them tougher to move.

That can be a big advantage but there is a real issue when it comes to making that weight cut.

Fighters can struggle to make the cut risking the potential of missing weight and losing their fight purse for the advantages that they get.

More important though these fighters put themselves through a lot to get down to the weight class they choose to fight in.

Although they may get the advantage of being the bigger fighter they can also lose a lot just by putting themselves through the weight cut.

At a certain point being the bigger fighter is not worth draining your body of everything it needs to survive to lose those last few pounds.

If a fighter can’t recover in time they can come into the fight without the stamina that they need to get through even around.

Plenty of fighters have struggled in their weight cuts and some have had to drop out of fights after being hospitalized after their bodies shut down while cutting weight.

For some, it is a good strategy but more often than not it is a strategy that only works out for a short time.

As fighters getting older and go through more weight cuts it becomes more and more difficult and they have to sit back and make a decision.

They can continue to starve their body and take the risk with fewer and fewer returns or they move up in weight to fight at a more natural weight.

Both Rafael Dos Anjos and Kevin Lee made that decision after years of depleting themselves to get to lightweight.

Both were big lightweights and they were successful but when they began to lose they noticed that the weight cut was a part of the problem.

Dos Anjos made the move a year ago and began a serious run at the welterweight title until losing his last two fights.mma-sidebar.fw

Lee was set to make his debut in a new weight class at UFC on ESPN+ 10 after seeing an inconsistent run at lightweight after rising to the top of the division.

He was set to take on Dos Anjos in a fight between two fighters looking to make an impact on their second weight class in the UFC.

Neither had been lighting things up over the last year so a win on the night would be a big boost to their careers and would set them up for a run at a new title.

The matchup was a grappling-heavy one as both fighters looked to take advantage in the clinch and on the ground.

Although a few shots were exchange most of this fight took place where both fighters are comfortable.

Lee looked to show his wrestling while Dos Anjos attempted to showcase his BJJ in an attempt to end the fight early.

It was a grind for both though as it wasn’t until the fourth round where Dos Anjos finally locked in a submission.

After four rounds of attempting to get this fight finished Dos Anjos locked in an arm triangle to take the win.

It wasn’t the best start for Lee in his new division but he was looking like the winner if this went to a decision until he made a mistake.

For Dos Anjos, it was a much-needed win after two straight losses and a win that should get him back on track in the welterweight division.

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