(Video courtesy YouTube/TwinkleToesTommy)
Besides his proclamation that he’s simply a better fighter than Yoshihiro Akiyama, Michael Bisping has been asserting for weeks that the biggest factor in him beating the Japanese-born Korean fighter will be the size advantage he will hold over Sexyama when they square off Saturday night in London at UFC 120.
The question is, will Bisping’s purported size advantage actually give him a leg up on Akiyama or will it hinder his performance?
Historically, when fighters add size, they subtract at least some speed from their arsenal as well as an exponential amount of cardiovascular endurance as a result of needing to accommodate the oxygen requirements of keeping their larger muscles stocked with ATP.
Now, Bisping isn’t much more muscular than he usually is, so I can’t see this making a huge difference, but considering that he is over his ideal weight limit this far along in the cutting process, he will likely have to put his body through a more rigorous weight cut, including extra cardio, to shed the few extra pounds, which could detrimentally affect his strength and conditioning Saturday night.
Most fighters like to be between 10 to 12 pounds out from their goal weight between five days to a week out from weigh-ins so they can cut the majority of the excess mass through diet, sodium restriction and by tricking the body into flushing out its water stores by consuming mass quantities of H2O for the week before abruptly stopping fluid intake 24 hours out from the weigh-ins.
Bisping is 13 pounds heavy with just two and a half days until he steps on the scale. I don’t think for a moment that he isn’t going to make weight, but considering that he will only likely drop six or so pounds by the morning of the weigh-ins, he will have to spend the better part of Friday morning in a sauna suit running on a treadmill, which isn’t the ideal situation for a guy who will be fighting less than 36 hours later.
We’ll have to wait until the fight to see if Bisping suffers any “mass effect” from his weighty issue, but somehow I don’t see him being bigger than Akiyama as much of an advantage.