The Pro's and Con's of changing weightclass
Theoretical question: Let's say we have two fighters, one at 155 lb. normally, and the other normally at 170. Both have 17-3 records against equal opposition in their respective weight classes. If the 170 lb. fighter cuts down to fight our 155 lb. fighter, how much of an advantage would he have simply from having faced a weight class larger opposition? Minimal but there? Moderate? Substantial? Don't get too specific, I'm just trying to isolate this one factor.
Can anyone give me examples of people dropping a weight class that I could research?
I ask this trying to analyze Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Stephenson, as well as take a look at the opposite phenomenon of guys going up a weight class. The BJ Penn Effect.
Sanchez has always looked soft at 170, while Stevenson is a beast at 155. It all depends on how Sanchez cuts to 55. Is he tightening up his diet and getting rid of excess fat or is he just sweating it out?
If he's losing fat and keeping muscle, he should be a quicker version of himself. If he's losing water weight, he'll probably be pretty fatigued from the cut.
Bisping has looked pretty good since he dropped to 185. Swick looked like ass in his first fight at 170, but seems to have gotten the cut down by now.
When you cut weight, your conditioning is effected, so the net advantage is almost zero, IMO.
I've been thinking, through the use of cortisol and clen to cut weight (because I couldn't just cut fat, the muscle would have to go too) and test, etc to build the muscle back, I can literally fight in any weightclass between 155-240. At 240, I would be bigger, stronger, faster, better. At 155 I'd have to rely on reach and slickness. I don't actually see an advantage to any specific weightclass for me, except HW, because I could eat/live like I want.
A lot of it depends on the natural weight of the fighter doing the cutting. If the guy is a natural 185 cutting to 170 already, who then cuts further to 155 he's probably going to see a pretty substantial performance drop because he's dehydrating himself and sacrificing muscle to make the weight, putting a LOT of stress on his body.
If he's naturally 170 and has been fighting at that weight without cutting then he's probably going to have the advantage of being stronger than someone who is 160 and cutting to 155, or a natural 155 er.
I think that there are too many variables to make any strong definitive statements, but as a general rule if you are cutting 30lbs you are going to see your performance suffer pretty seriously.