Fighters determining their true weight class in the UFC is much more complex than people think. With weight-cutting being an ongoing issue, it's become difficult for some fighters to figure out at which weight they'll have the most success in.
There have been fighters who have missed weight in championship fights and have paid the price later on. There have also been those who've avoided weight-cutting entirely but ended up undersized on fight night.
Many factors can lead to fighters deciding to either move up or down a weight class. One of the more apparent reasons is a fighter's diet in the lead-up to a bout. There have been those that have cut too much weight and, as a result, depleted their body.
Age is another factor in why some fighters change weight classes. Depending on the fighter, they may experience difficulties cutting weight once they reach a certain age. Furthermore, some may decide to move down as they feel they cannot remain competitive in a heavier weight class.
This list will look at five fighters who should consider changing weight classes.
#5. Former UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo
Starting off the list is former UFC flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo. The Brazilian has admittedly had tough weight cuts to make 125 lbs. At age 33, Figueiredo may be leaning towards a move to bantamweight in the next couple of years.
To Figueiredo's credit, he has only missed weight once in his career - against Joseph Benavidez - and hasn't made that mistake since. Although he only missed weight once, he has been hospitalized due to a weight cut as recently as last year. After his draw with Brandon Moreno, it was confirmed that Figueiredo was hospitalized the night before the bout due to complications from weight-cutting.
During a pre-fight media interview for his rematch with Moreno at UFC 263, Figueiredo described what his difficult weight-cut was like:
"I was bad. Not physically bad, but my head was shaken already. I starved for two days, not drinking water well for days. The fight happened thanks to [my coaches] and a doctor friend of ours that was here for the event," said Deiveson Figueiredo via MMAfighting.com
Deiveson Figueiredo is known for his devastating knockout power at flyweight. The Brazilian consistently imposed his will on his opponents en route to a UFC flyweight championship. After Figueiredo lost his title to Brandon Moreno at UFC 263, it seemed as though he'd be moving to 135 lbs. Instead, Figueiredo accepted the trilogy bout with the Mexican for a chance to reclaim the UFC flyweight championship.
If Figueiredo defeats Moreno, he will likely evaluate the top contenders in the flyweight division and defend his title. With former bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt now set to compete at flyweight, he could be the next challenger.
If Garbrandt is successful in his flyweight debut, Figueiredo may push for the UFC to book a fight with him. That way, Figueiredo can defend his flyweight title against a ranked bantamweight and continue adding to his legacy at 125lbs. In the meantime, Figueiredo can wait for the bantamweight title picture to sort itself out and then potentially move up and challenge the champion.