T Nation

MMA Weight Classes

I used to be a 155lb (5’9.75") middle distance runner, but then I lost interest, went to a JKD class and found a new passion. Since then I’ve just been training to 1) increase my all around strength until I exceeded 300 bench, 400 squat, 500 deadlift and 2) increase my weight a bit. It’s been nearly 3 years since then and I’ve past that strength level now at just under 190lb bodyweight, about 8-10% bodyfat. I’m looking to focus on MMA & general athleticism (I want to get my 60m sprint time as far below 7 seconds as I can) a bit more now, which is what I was originally training for anyway.

I’m hoping some experienced people can give me some advice as to what factors I should consider when deciding to go for the light heavy (205) or middle (185) weight class - e.g, natural weight, bone size/structure, jaw size, height.

Even if I don’t end up competing, I’d still rather train for what I’m best suited for. The reason I want to know is that if most of you guys say middleweight, then I’ll decrease food intake to minimize the scale weight gain that strength gains deliver. I’m already pretty heavy for my strength levels compared to guys like mad titan on here and ross enamait.

your 5’9? most people 5’9 are lightweight/welterweight at the most there always the exceptions but i would try to keep your weight down as low as possible. If you fight in the heavier weight classes while it does come down to technique and skill your still going to have a noticeable reach disadvantage. I don’t know what your built like right now but 190 down to 170 is a reasonable cut if you actually plan on fighting.

If you dont plan on fighting i would not worry to much about your weight but if you do plan on fighting i would recommend not putting on anymore weight and cutting down to 170 before a fight. while 20 pounds seems like alot if you ever decide to take it seriously its not a big deal to since when cutting most of your weight lost comes from water while you still need to lose some fat. i personally walk around at about 168-170 but when getting ready for a fight i cut down to 155.

Yep. You really shouldn’t go for 205 at that height. I mean, it can be done but I hope you are good at getting in on the inside.

That’s what I assumed. Guys like Randleman and Tyson, both 5’10" and fighting at 220-230, seem to be exceptions.

[quote]wsk wrote:
Even if I don’t end up competing, I’d still rather train for what I’m best suited for.[/quote]

Your post doesn’t make much sense if you really don’t plan on competing. There is no advantage to being smaller if you are not restricted by weight class structure. Weight classes are made to protect smaller lighter guys from bigger heavier ones. I would say just don’t worry about it, and eat and grow. If you do decide to compete, worry about it then. You aren’t going to look like Kevin Randleman anytime soon, I can assure you of that.

Haha, i don’t need assuring of that. What a monster.

[quote]wsk wrote:
That’s what I assumed. Guys like Randleman and Tyson, both 5’10" and fighting at 220-230, seem to be exceptions.
[/quote]

and me im 230lb at 5’9, i come from jeff monson school of MMA and tall guys are a nightmare for me if they’re good at keeping distance and sprawling. Im working on crowding and inside fighting for these situations.

For personal experiance its more about what weight you feel comfortable at i prefer being 230lbs, im strong and i feel good. Ive cut too under 205lb, i lost alot of muscle and fat and felt terrible lost alot of strength and got owned by people lighter than me.

Oh, I didn’t see that he was not interested in competing. In that case there is no reason to fit into a weight class. You might as well be big.

That said, some people find they fight better at a certain weight. You might play around with it and see what works for you. Though at some point you will have to decide if you lift and do martial arts on the side or visa versa. Priorities.

I have a muay thai fight Feb. 23. I’m 5’8…fighting in the HW division. The heavyweight division is between 185-200 though…and I’m right near 200. Should be fun, and I will win.

[quote]wsk wrote:
That’s what I assumed. Guys like Randleman and Tyson, both 5’10" and fighting at 220-230, seem to be exceptions.
[/quote]

Also if your talking about Mike Tyson boxing is different than MMA. There is more money the heavier the weight class that is why some fights tend to fight at a higher weight. And Mike Tyson was 5’11

Lots of good responses. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing - gaining strength and making sure I stay on the strong side for my weight, whilst enjoying MMA on the side.