Friday, July 13, 2012

Reflections of: Moving up in weight

UFC 148 seems to be the gift that keeps on giving for this blog.

This story from Caged Insider mentions that Chael Sonnen, upon realizing getting finished twice by Anderson Silva probably takes him out of the middleweight title hunt for a while, is considering a move to the light heavyweight division.

A move like this would put Sonnen closer to his natural weight of 210, which is also about where Silva is normally. It is key to note that Silva is 2-0 when fighting in the 205-pound class.

As such, it's not unfeasible for Sonnen to think he could be successful in effectively his natural weight class. However, he should be aware of the dangers of fighting without a little extra size.

A fighter like Urijah Faber fought modestly in the 155-pound class, and only became a megastar when he dropped to 145. Even then, he's had to drop to 135 to make sure he stays at the top of the pecking order.

Rich Franklin has won a few 195-pound catchweight fights and light heavyweight bouts, but he is nowhere near the title contender level he attained at middleweight. Granted, that could be due to his age, but Sonnen is 35 years old himself.

Even a guy like Frankie Edgar, who until a few months ago was the world champion at 155 lbs. and has a rematch next month, has to continuously prove himself to Dana White in order to justify not dropping to 145.

At the same time, though, Sonnen's wrestling give him an advantage going up in weight. Men like Randy Couture stopped cutting weight and still had success.

Heck, after Couture left the light heavyweight division, he won the UFC World Heavyweight Championship again. And he did it much of the time by putting pressure on his opponent by stacking him against the cage.

It's not out of the question for Sonnen to be successful, and I'd certainly rather he try for another title than retire. I would just request he weigh the option carefully.

Lord knows the commission weighs carefully.

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