Now the UFC’s heavyweight division spans from 207–265 pounds. Which means the absolute biggest you can be on the day of a weigh in is 265– and it just so happens that Brock Lesnar can get down to just about 265 exactly. As most fighters who have to cut to make weight do, he then proceeds to gain a bunch of weight before fight night, and it’s commonly said that Lesnar may weigh as much as 290 or more when he actually fights. Lesnar is just about as big of a human as you can get in the UFC. Meanwhile, almost anyone else in the heavyweight division has no need to cut, so they weigh in at their fight weight. So when he goes to fight a guy like Frank Mir, who he fought tonight and weighed in at 245, he has a huge size advantage of 45 pounds. When he fought Randy Couture, Lesnar probably outweighed him on the order of 65 pounds or more. Who do you suppose would win in a fight between a 145-pound featherweight and a 205-pound light heavyweight?
There are bigger fighters than Lesnar. The problem is there are very few who are just the right size, big enough to pose a threat to Lesnar but capable of cutting to 265. And it amounts to an enormous structural advantage for Lesnar. I don’t think that Bob Sapp is a great fighter by any means. But I think that Bob Sapp could manhandle Brock Lesnar. There’s just no way Sapp could ever get down to 265 pounds. That’s true of a lot of opponents, I think.
Elsewhere on the blog, William Brafford sides with the Whigs of the 1830s and 1840s against the Jacksonian Democrats. I’m with him. I think it’s interesting, however, that people’s instincts about modern-day politics do a very poor job of tracking their instincts about these antebellum partisan debates. You see a lot of modern-day progressives who seem to find much to admire in Jackson’s vision. To me, though, it’s important not to let the fact that there’s a charming TMBG song about James K Polk distract from the basic reality that he was playing for the bad guys.