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Franklin McNeil: Hey, maybe MMA needs a cruiserweight division

By Zach Arnold | November 29, 2008

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The Newark Star-Ledger writer has an ESPN article asking if MMA needs a cruiserweight division. He has quotes from Marc Ratner. This article indirectly builds upon some of the arguments laid out in this MMA Memories article.

Topics: Media, MMA, UFC, Zach Arnold | 18 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

18 Responses to “Franklin McNeil: Hey, maybe MMA needs a cruiserweight division”

  1. D.Capitated says:

    I wouldn’t in the least bit be shocked to see them start up a new heavyweight division sometime in 2009. Automatically, gives Chuck Liddell a potential title shot, regardless of the situation.

  2. mr. Roadblock says:

    MMA already has a heavyweight division. It’s called the light heavyweight division. The guys at light heavy all walk at 220. Who are the makeblive guys all these writers want to protect? Fedor is 230 so is Nog. Neither has problems fighting bigger guys.

  3. dave2 says:

    I don’t see the point of having a cruiser weight division. Boxing’s HW division is 200+ and that has been working just fine. Is a 205-265 limit in MMA any less fair to small heavyweights than boxing’s parameters? I’m against this idea. If you have a cruiserweight division at 220/225, the heavyweight division is going to thin out even more and become even weaker.

  4. Kelvin says:

    The current weight divisions implemented by the unified rules is working just fine. No matter how many weight divisions you have, guys are going to cut weight and there’s going to be weight discrepancies between the fighters.

  5. dave2 says:

    Lesnar is keeping that belt warm for Minotauro Nogueira. And Fedor is the real heavyweight champion. No need for a cruiser weight division. Remember that Lesnar beat an overrated 16-9 45 year old light heavyweight that has been inactive for 15 months.

  6. 45 Huddle says:

    A Cruiserweight Division is a horible idea. There is nothing that proves that overall fighters who are around 265 lbs can beat fighters who are around 235 lbs. And anybody less then that fights at Light Heavyweight typically.

    Everytime somebody talks about adding more weight divisions, I cringe.

  7. 45 Huddle says:

    Lets take a more in-depth look at the trends in MMA. Most of the fighters are going to lower weight classes. The number of natural Heavyweights is a very small pool. In fact, the pool of potential Light Heavyweights continues to dwindle. Large athletes like Wilson Gouveia & Goran Relijc are now Middleweights. And fighters like Wanderlei Silva & Maurico Rua are likely a thing of the past. The next generations Silva’s & Rua’s will likely be starting off their career at Middleweight (due to their natural size).

    What this all means, is that the high level of talent in those division will be harder to find. By creating more divisions, it will only dilute the talent even more. That is a bad thing for the sport.

    One guy like Brock Lesnar does not mean more weight classes should be created. It means old guys like Couture should not be fighting at Heavyweight. And when I see pudgy small Heavyweights like Fedor & Nogueira beat up all these large Heavyweights, it only confirms that there is absolutely no need for new weight classes anywhere near the Heavyweight & Light Heavyweight Divisions.

    The ONLY changes that I would think are needed are the following:

    1. Middleweight – 190 lbs.
    2. Welterweight – 175 lbs.
    3. Lightweight – 165 lbs.
    4. Featherweight – 155 lbs.
    5. Bantamweight – 145 lbs.
    6. Flyweight – 135 lbs.

    And if anybody feels the need to see 125 pounders, then add a Strawweight at 125 lbs. But nothing needs to go below 125 lbs, since the two major sports MMA pulls from are wrestling and BJJ, and both of their weight classes typically end around 125 lbs.

    The changes I have stated would create exactly ONE new weight class, and fix the only TWO TRUE issue in the weight class structure, which are the gaps between LHW & MW, and the gap between WW & LW.

    However, if those changes are never made in 100 years, I would still be happier with the current weight classes, then I would be with the addition of the stupidest idea in MMA…. And one that is brought up all too often…. The addition of a Cruiseweight Class.

  8. D.Capitated says:

    The problem/incentive for the UFC in creating another heavyweight class is that they’ve got a number of aging fighters they can pile into it along with having effectively eliminated most of the decent established heavyweights from their organization. Why not have a 220lb weight class? Then Vera and Liddell and Couture all have a place to go to fight amongst themselves for meaningless trinkets. After all, what does it really matter? Only drawing money and tickets mean anything.

    Next step: Regional titles!

  9. Zach Arnold says:

    The Western States Heritage Title and the Missouri State Title were two of the most prestigious titles during the 80s. How dare you make fun of belt markishness. Who wouldn’t want to see a UFC UK or Nevada State championship belt?

  10. jim allcorn says:

    Right on Zach!

    Without that Western States belt we’d have never experienced the great title runs of men like Black Bart & Barry Windham during that era. LOL.

  11. jim allcorn says:

    Seriously though, instead of a cruiserweight title, I’d MUCH rather see an adjustment to the already existing weight classes like 45 Huddle suggests. Though I would add another one with an additional ten pounds tacked onto the light heavyweight devision, making it’s limit 215 lbs.

  12. IceMuncher says:

    I think the weight classes are fine for now. If further down the line the heavyweight division gets enough talent for a split at 225 or so, I\’d be okay with it, but for now there\’s only a dozen so fighters in that division that have the talent and skill of a decent MMA fighter in the lower divisions.

    I like the spread of the current weightclasses. The difference between one weightclass and the previous one is ~ 10%. The seperation in the division is scaled relative to its weight, which I think is how you should do it.

  13. cyph says:

    Putting more divisions in between the current weight classes is a horrible idea. We don’t need boxing 2.0.

  14. dave2 says:

    Nine weight classes is perfect for boxing: Flyweight, Bantamweight, Featherweight, Lightweight, Welterweight, Middleweight, Light Heavyweight, Cruiserweight, Heavyweight. That’s basically the 8 classes from the golden years of boxing + Cruiserweight, which is necessary nowadays since heavyweight boxers are bigger now.

    For MMA, seeing that they have a super heavyweight division and boxing doesn’t, I could see you making the case for 10 weight classes. But NO MORE than 10! I wouldn’t create a new division between 205-265 though. Instead I’d suggest a new one somewhere in the lower weight classes maybe.

    Btw, I think they should rename 205 as Cruiserweight, 185 as Light Heavyweight and 170 as Middleweight. Seeing 185 as a “Middleweight” is weird. Guys as big as Anderson Silva, Rich Franklin, etc. don’t strike me as “middleweights”. Those guys are like 200 pounds in the Octagon and obviously the average man is not that big. It’s more reasonable for boxing to consider 160 to be “Middleweight”. Kelly Pavlik and Pre-LHW Bernard Hopkins look like Middleweights to me.

  15. MMA Game says:

    IMHO, cutting the weight classes to the lower weights has killed the org for me. I can’t carry significant interest in a whole organization based on just a couple of weight classes.

  16. pauli says:

    at the moment, the weightclasses i’d like to see, unified for men and women, are:

    265, 215, 200, 186, 173, 161, 150, 139, 129, 120, 112, 104. not very photogenic, sadly.

  17. cyph says:

    You can’t compare MMA weight classes with boxing. Boxers tend to be built lean, favoring speed and quickness with endurance to last 12 rounds, favoring the stick and move method. MMA fighters have to be built for strength to push people around in the clinch and defend take downs or go for take downs. A 160lb middleweight boxer training for MMA would have to bulk up to 185lb of muscle for MMA fights or they’ll be quickly overpowered in the clinch and wrestled down and pounded out.


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