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Saturday, November 22, 2008
The Effect of Super-Heavyweights on MMA; More on UFC/AKA Debacle
by Ivan Trembow

Zach Arnold of FightOpinion.com asked an interesting question following Brock Lesnar's win over Randy Couture. Lesnar weighs in at the heavyweight limit of 265 pounds and then walks into the Octagon the next day at 275 to 280 pounds, which prompted this question:

“So, how much of an issue will weight be, given the result of this fight? If Lesnar is a natural super-heavyweight..."

The first thing this will mean is that anyone who is 230 pounds or lower will be cutting weight shortly before their fights to make the light heavyweight of 205 pounds. Actually, that is what already happens in the majority of cases anyway.

On a wider level, if natural super-heavyweights fighting at heavyweight becomes the norm (ie, fighters stepping into the cage at 275+ pounds) the fighters that it’s really going to negatively affect are the fighters whose natural weight is in the 230 to 249 pound range.

Those fighters are the ones who would really be in a tough situation. If they try to cut to light heavyweight, it will be very difficult for them to lose enough weight to make 205 pounds, even by MMA's extreme weight-cutting standards.

If they choose to stay in the heavyweight division, it will also be very difficult for them to fight against fighters who outweigh them by huge amounts of weight. It may be a disadvantageous situation either way for fighters in the 230 to 249 pound range, and that's a lot of fighters.

More on UFC/AKA Debacle
According to what Jon Fitch said in a video interview with MMA Rated, what happened during the Lorenzo Fertitta coversation was that Fertitta "give his word" that the merchandising contract was not a permanent thing and that if he "ever wanted to leave," there's a possibility that he could get out of it. Of course, the actual contract says that it's both lifetime and exclusive, as Dana White acknowledged in the USA Today interview.

It's also interesting to note how the UFC is preying on fighters' lack of knowledge about other potential video game deals. We've seen multiple fighters, including Fitch, say something to the effect of, "Come on, who else is going to be want to put ME in a video game?" This demonstrates that they are completely unaware of the fact that the biggest video game publisher in the world, Electronic Arts, also has a mixed martial arts game in the pipeline, and unlike Zuffa/THQ, they are willing to pay fighters to be a part of it. It's not like it would be a huge amount of money, but it shows the fighters not being aware of what they're signing away.

On a related note, it is amusing, but not really surprising, to see that the UFC was crying "poor economy, poor economy" throughout the whole UFC/AKA mess (as well as during seemingly every UFC press conference and interview these days), given that the UFC has publicly mocked boxing promoter Bob Arum for mentioning the poor economy.

Robert Joyner of MMAPayout.com wrote a good editorial about the UFC/AKA situation (available here); as did Sam Caplan of FiveOuncesofPain.com (available here).

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