(Overeem, before adding horse-meat and anti-inflammatory meds to his diet.)
By Josh Hutchinson
Whether it’s Jon Jones wanting to move up to heavyweight, or everyone wanting Frankie Edgar to cut to 145, weight-class-shifting is a hot topic for MMA fans and pundits alike. And while we’ve recently covered the perils and benefits of dropping to a lower weight class, the same can be said for moving up in weight. After jumping to heavier divisions, some fighters’ proverbial stars have shined brighter, some have dimmed, and some have gone God-damn-supernova — and it’s never easy to predict which fighters will have success. Check out some notable examples below, and tell us which other fighters you think would do well with some extra meat on their bones.
(Same guy as above, same backdrop, and yet something is different…)
All insinuations aside, Overeem is a prime example of success at moving up a weight class. As I previously mentioned, Overeem has gone 12-1-1 since making a full commitment to heavyweight, and while the quality of opponents he faced was often questionable, that is still a hell of a good run. If you take a look back at his time at light-heavyweight, the stats are not nearly as impressive. Overeem’s losses usually came at the hands of the light-heavyweight division’s top guys, like Chuck Liddell, Antônio Rogério Nogueira, and Ricardo Arona. His run at light-heavyweight showed that he couldn’t hang with the elites of the respective weight class, and was vulnerable to being manhandled by stronger opponents.
After doing whatever it is he did to bulk up, he turned his fortunes around and achieved the greatest stardom of his career, becoming the poster child for successful jumps up the weight-class ladder. If it wasn’t for some bad decision-making, he would be fighting for the sport’s highest prize this weekend. Here’s to hoping he gets his shit together soon.