Competing at a more natural weight is a welcomed trend in today’s MMA. With many fighters ditching their draining weight cuts, we broke down six fighters who could win a championship at a different weight class.
It used to be that fighters wanted to cut as much weight as possible in an attempt to compete at the lightest weight class possible. The thought was, having a substantial size advantage would translate into easier fights. Although many fighters have had success with this blueprint, in recent years the paradigm has shifted.
Fighters like Sam Alvey and Anthony Smith have recently decided to change things us. Both men were competing at middleweight, and having decent success, but since moving to light heavyweight both men have fast-tracked their fight careers. Smith is fighting Volkan Oezdimer in a potential 205-pound title eliminator bout, and Alvey has won two of three since changing classes.
That got us thinking here at LowkickMMA. Could other fighters benefit from switching things up? Here is our list of six fighters who could win gold at a different weight class:
Kelvin Gastelum – Welterweight
Fighters changing weight classes to better their performances is old hat. Take The Ultimate Fighter 17 winner Kelvin Gastelum.
After winning TUF 17, Gastelum announced he would be moving down to welterweight. The then 21-year-old Gastelum had success at 170 pounds despite battling with weight issues.
After repeated failed attempts to make the welterweight limit, UFC President Dana White strongly urged Gastelum to move back up to 185 pounds. Since moving back to middleweight Gastelum has gone 5-2, beating former middleweight champion Michael Bisping in the process.
He’ll now challenge Robert Whittaker for the middleweight title, but has often teased a return to welterweight to compete for that belt as well.
Gold could very well be in the future for Gastelum. Whether it’s at middleweight or welterweight remains to be seen.