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In No-Man’s-Land After Latest Loss, Nate Diaz Calls for Intermediate Weight Classes

(“…and I’m just saying, in this new 163-pound division, maybe motherf*ckers shouldn’t be allowed to kick you in your damn neck so much.” / Photo via Esther Lin @ MMAFighting)

Even before he lost his second consecutive lightweight fight to Josh Thomson at UFC on FOX 7, Nate Diaz was eyeing a return to welterweight — a division he’d already bounced out of in 2011, following back-to-back losses to Dong Hyun Kim and Rory MacDonald. So what’s a guy supposed to do if he’s not powerful enough to deal with the beasts at 170, and cutting to 155 is no longer worth the misery? Call it sour grapes if you will, but Nate floated the following suggestion on twitter yesterday:

@ufc more weight classes ASAP?? 163,178,193 More super fights more champion vs champion, closer to weight better fights more potential …

Obviously, that 163-pound division would be tailor-made for the younger Diaz brother, so it makes sense that he’d support it. But self-interest aside, there’s some logic to the idea. While UFC president Dana White has been looking to smaller and smaller fighters as the future of the promotion — 115-pound dudes? seriously? — the UFC already has a deep roster of talented, popular contenders who have suffered from being “in between” weight classes, either ruining their bodies through massive weight cuts to stay competitive, or giving up tremendous size disadvantages to compete at a more “natural” division.

The UFC turns 20 years old this year, and despite all the evolution that the sport has seen along the way, we’re still at the point where there are 15- and 20-pound gaps between the lightweight and light-heavyweight classes. There’s something primitive about that, and Diaz’s tweet highlights it. Instead of creating more divisions that are ten pounds lower than the last one, intermediate weight-classes might be the best next step as the sport progresses. It would create more champions — always a good thing in terms of promotional value — and many of those champions would already be established stars with some name recognition.

Maybe Lyoto Machida is a future champ at 193? Maybe Hector Lombard could make something of himself at 178? And maybe Nate Diaz could make a run at the 163-pound title? Isn’t that a better idea than letting good fighters fade into irrelevance, and trying to sell your audience on brand-new strawweight talent that they never asked for?

Cagepotato Comments

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aIqTp8jip- April 25, 2013 at 10:09 am
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fitnesscodes- April 24, 2013 at 12:45 pm
Great article.
Mr_Misanthropy- April 24, 2013 at 12:34 am
Thomson kicked Nate in the head so hard his speech impediment came back.
macreadysshack- April 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm
I'm all-aboard the 'same day weight ins' bandwagon.
macreadysshack- April 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm
The only change I could condone would be splitting up heavyweight into heavy and super-heavy. I like 206-245 for heavy and 245-unlimited (or as heavy as possible, if people balk at unlimited).

Any more intermediate weights makes titles feel cheap. Plus, like others here have stated, I think what you'd see is:

135: Cruz or Barao
145: Aldo or Pettis
155: Bendo
163: Bendo
170: GSP
178: GSP
185: Silva
193: Silva
205: Jones

If what I'm saying makes any sense then what's the point? Do you really think Wandy is going to beat Silva at 193? Is Belfort?

I actually think this article is either an outright troll-job or it's not signed by the author because he knows he pulled it out of his ass.
crappiefloper- April 23, 2013 at 5:54 pm
Plus 1 to same day weigh ins, just like jits.
Sopapo- April 23, 2013 at 3:00 pm
Its not about having more champions, Weightclasses aren't perfect. Look at Wanderlei, he feels he should fight at 195 pounds, same as franklin. To me those 3 weightclasses make a lot of sense.
algiersheadkick504- April 23, 2013 at 1:20 pm
Faareal they do need same day weighins cutting weight shouldnt be such a big deal in this sport
coolsnow7- April 23, 2013 at 11:47 am
This might have been the most retarded thing posted on this site. The "more champions, better promotional value" is idiotic - if there's 20 champions, none of their championships matter. More weight classes means more excuses for people not to fight each other, and more "I'm not going down, you come up" than has been going on with Anderson v. GSP.

The point of weight classes is to make the fights reasonable. A 10 pound gap between fighters is perfectly reasonable. 15 pounds might be too much, might not. But there is no reason that 8 pounds should make ALL the difference in a fight.

The media has to stop feeding into this nonsense about weight being this incredibly significant factor. If it were, you would see people moving down in weight suddenly be champions. Name one.
Sopapo- April 23, 2013 at 2:57 pm
Dude ever heard of boxing? its a fighting sport where they got more weightclasses and champions move up in weight or down to get another one. Aside from Couture no one really tries it in mma. Boxing example Roy Jones Jr champion in:
Super Middleweight
Light Heavyweight
JayJitsu310- April 23, 2013 at 11:43 am
How about same day weigh-ins? That's the only thing i see that needs to change.
crappiefloper- April 23, 2013 at 10:41 am
How's about all things Diaz shut the fuck up and go away... How's about that
fucka fish- April 23, 2013 at 10:40 am
how about make Heavyweight division at 245lbs or so and make a Super Heavyweight division maxed out at 300lbs? Would make things a bit more interesting imo
RearNakedSpoon- April 23, 2013 at 10:30 am
"If you can't beat 'em, moan a lot" - The Azz Brothers

170 and 205 is packed with top talent while 185 is a 1 man deep division. Creating divisions between those classes will at best just make Strikeforce style shampions (not a typo)
algiersheadkick504- April 23, 2013 at 10:18 am
So is he gonna sit out until his dream comes true
whiterice- April 23, 2013 at 10:10 am
I don't know a lot about the history of boxing, but I read someone criticizing how boxing's many weight classes end up diluting the pool for each class (just one of boxing's problems, I know). And you would just have guys holding multiple belts in classes that could easily make.

I'm down to rethink/retool, but adding a bunch of intermediate classes might help a few individuals, but it would really muck with the consistency of a given weight class - they just wouldn't mean as much.
fucka fish- April 23, 2013 at 10:01 am
more like Anderson Silva holding a belt in three divisions
BigWhiskey- April 23, 2013 at 9:30 am
I don't think you'll have that many more champions. Instead, you'll have someone like Henderson, GSP and Jon Jones holding belts in 2 different divisions. Then you have less championship action in a given division since a single person can only fight 3-4 times a year with a good training camp.
ArmFarmer- April 23, 2013 at 9:12 am
Handing diaz a belt wouldn't really make him vs benson or gsp a superfight.
ksgbobo- April 23, 2013 at 8:53 am
Intermediate weight classes is just like the time I tried sucking dick and didn't like sucks. Like it was said earlier, it would dilute the promotion and that is one of the biggest things I don't like about boxing. If they were to add a division, it should be from light heavyweight to heavyweight...that is a big gap
Pen Fifteen- April 23, 2013 at 8:43 am
Fuck yeah for super heavyweights. Can you imagine 2 years from now when Tito Ortiz has patched things up with Uncle Dana once again, and he hits the ring to interview one of the greatest super heavyweights of the night...TATER WILLIAMS. Let me tell you how you're feeling: you have a raging hard-on.
Shifty-Eyed Dog- April 23, 2013 at 8:35 am
Just like a Diaz.
KDHR3TBC- April 23, 2013 at 8:18 am
i'd rather have a super heavyweight and get bucky boyd in there then what diaz is suggesting.
Fried Taco- April 23, 2013 at 8:15 am
Yes, please, I'd be the 189.75lb weight class champ!!
5knuckleshuffle- April 23, 2013 at 8:08 am
I agree. Nothing special about having 30 champions. Sounds more like "I can't win at either class so how bout you make one FOR me" then anything else. Gay horses was a nice finishing touch btw lol
macreadysshack- April 23, 2013 at 10:36 am
Thanks for the props lol!
macreadysshack- April 23, 2013 at 7:59 am
I couldn't disagree more. "It would create more champions — always a good thing in terms of promotional value "

More champions dilutes the title of champion. It's one of the main things that bothers me about boxing.

Okay, every fighter wants to be a champ. Why not have champions every five pounds? Then we could have tons of tepid 'super-fights'. Whoopie.

I hope the UFC continues to see this as a terrible idea and keeps fighters working hard to achieve championships that are rare and difficult.

If there was a unicorn on every corner, we'd just start calling them gay horses.