Does Weight Matter in a Fight? | Explained

In this page we will cover whether or not weight matters in a fight, why it may or may not matter, and whether UFC fighters use this to their advantage.

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Table of Contents

Does Weight Matter in a Fight?

Weight matters a massive amount in a fight. It matters so much so that many fighters put themselves through extreme weight cuts in order to make a certain weight class. By weighing in at a lighter weight class, they will be able to have a size advantage against the other fighter after they re-hydrate post-weigh ins.

A size advantage allows opponents to have an increased ability to deliver more powerful strikes, as well as being able to better absorb powerful strikes. Additionally it can be a tremendous benefit to be more powerful than the opponent when wanting to take them down to the canvas.

When two fighters are equal in skills, the two elements that remain that can make a difference are size and cardio. A size advantage can be gained by cutting down to a smaller weight class, however if it is a rough weight cut or a fighter cuts too much weight, it can directly negatively affect their cardio.

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Due to this, there's a fine line that fighters try to experiment around in order to give them the maximum size advantage that can still allow them to keep their cardio up to par.

UFC Fighters Gaining a Size Advantage in Their Careers

There are 3 fighters in particular that are mentioned below that used weight cutting to their advantage, in order to have massive success. Of course weight is not everything, as these fighters were highly skilled as well.

However, a size advantage played a large part in their success.

Khabib Nurmagomedov

Famous Dagestani fighter Nurmagomedov sported a 29-0 record, winning the UFC Lightweight championship before retiring in his prime.

Despite fighting in the 155 lbs division, he would walk around at 187 lbs in between fights. This means that he would cut around 30 lbs from his natural weight, and have a size advantage against his smaller opponents during the actual fight.

Nurmagomedov would use his dominant chain wrestling and grappling to overwhelm every one of his opponents.

Conor McGregor

When McGregor competed in and ran through the Featherweight division, he would walk around at 171 lbs in between fights. This means that in order to make the Featherweight limit of 145 lbs, he would have to cut around 25 lbs.

A size and height advantage was a big reason why McGregor was able to go undefeated through the Featherweight division on the way to becoming the Featherweight champion.

Paulo Costa

Paulo Costa fights in the Middleweight division and weighed in at 186 lbs in his fight versus Yoel Romero. However, he would be weighed in by the California State Athletic Commission the day of his fight, and he had re-hydrated to 213.8 lbs, gaining 27.8 lbs in a day.

He would win the fight against Romero and improve his record to an undefeated 13-0 at the time.