“Strong people are harder to kill than weak people and more useful in general.”
― Mark Rippetoe
I’m going to say something that might offend some people…it’s nice to be strong! There I’ve said it. I know that technique and skill are supposed to beat strength and speed in martial arts but in martial sports strength and speed help. So why would I not want to be the bigger stronger athlete in an athletic competition?
I know all of the downsides to cutting weight and trust me they’re not fun. In an ideal world, everyone would fight at their natural weight and this wouldn’t even be a topic of discussion. But everyone does cut weight and even at the amateur level. In the DC metro area, I have known guys at the amateur level to cut in the upwards of 30 pounds for and MMA fight. Why on earth would they do that? I’ll tell you why to be the larger stronger fighter. It helps.
I’m not saying that you should stop training your skills and stop trying to make yourself more technical. What I am saying that being strong is good to have in your back pocket. It gives a different type of confidence walking into a fight. One of my training partners calls it the “no factor.” The ability to stop your opponent from doing something pretty much at will. This on top of your skill and technique, not in replace of.
I’m not going to lie I’ve done it. At my 135 lb fight the day of the fight I weighed 153 walking into the cage. I was definitely larger than the girl I was fighting. I had trained really hard, executed my game plan, and imposed my will on my opponent.
This is all dependent on cutting weight correctly, picking the right weight class, and preparing for the fight correctly. Cutting weight is not a magical pill that fixes everything. You still have to do the hard work. You still have to go in there and win the fight. All that I’m saying that there are some good things to being bigger and stronger walking into the cage.