Finally I can rest easy! I’ve convinced myself that size in fact DOES NOT matter. While I don’t necessarily have experience with this in my personal life, this is something that Randytron and I went back and forth on during our recent WBB Podcast (WBB: Episode 5). Extreme weight cuts are the norm in today’s MMA landscape. The goal of said extreme weight cuts is to be the bigger and stronger fighter come fight time. It’s been successful for most fighters, but is it actually a fact that bigger fighters are more successful? Fortunately, we have a great example of this during this weekend’s matchup between Chris Weidman (6’2”) and Kelvin Gastelum (5’9”).
We know that fighters walk into the cage at a heavier weight than they were the night before at weigh ins. Again, standard practice. The assumption is that taller fighters are also heavier fighters come fight time, so when comparing size we should use both height and the eye test when judging who the bigger fighter is.
To help paint this picture, let’s look at a few notable fights and fighters that were involved in match ups with clear differences in size.
Conor Mcgregor (5’9”) vs. Nate Diaz (6’0”)
Everyone knows Diaz was the bigger fighter in these two matchup’s (just ask Dana White). While I had both fights going Diaz’s way, it wasn’t scored that way. Given that they each won a fight it’s tough to say that size mattered with these two fighters.
Size Matters: Push
Frankie Edgar (5’6”) vs. Everybody
Frankie has 22 wins and only 5 losses in his career. I’m just going out on a limb and saying he was the smaller fighter in all 27 of these fights.
Size Matters: Not so fast
Max Holloway (5’11”) vs. Jose Aldo (5’7”)
To me it honestly seemed like Aldo was too small to put Max away. He hit Max with some hard shots that would put most fighters his size away, but not the much larger Max Holloway.
Size Matters: Sure the fuck does.
Rather than continue down this road of using examples that help my argument, let’s just get right the point.
If you say size matters you are discrediting fighters. You are using the same logic that elementary school children use when they decide that the biggest person in school is the toughest. I don’t think there is any proof to say fighters win because they are bigger, faster, stronger, etc. The better fighter on any given night wins, but if it was 100% based off of tangible attributes then a lot of fighters careers would be different. Frankie, Clay Guida, and Justin Gaethje are all examples that measurements mean nothing in the world of MMA. On the other hand, training, guts, and grit do.
So, in conclusion when Kelvin Gastelum beats Chris Weidman this weekend, we can finally put to rest that size matters and we can all listen to Randytron’s apology to your’s truly on the airways.