If there is one thing that former wrestlers tend to do better than anyone else in MMA, it is cutting weight. Cutting weight is a fact of life in the world of wrestling, and 2008 Olympic gold medalist Henry Cejudo knows this better than anyone. But when Cejudo made the transition to MMA, he chose to compete in the 135-pound division even though he had wrestled at 121 pounds.

After racking up four wins in the 135-pound division, Cejudo made a decision to move down to 125-pound flyweight division. It has been a disaster. His first attempt, which came at Legacy FC 24, turned into a 128-pound catchweight fight. His second attempt at Legacy FC 27 didn’t go well either, with Cejudo tipping the scales at 128.5 pounds, two and a half pounds above the 126-pound cutoff for the flyweight division. His third attempt was supposed to take place in June for the vacant Legacy flyweight title, but Cejudo pulled out of the bout for “personal reasons.”

Cejudo is now set to face Strikeforce and Bellator veteran Brian Hall at Legacy FC 34 on Aug. 29 in Tunica, Miss., and this is do or die for his flyweight aspirations. Legacy FC owner Mick Maynard recently told MMAFighting, “If Henry doesn’t make 125, he needs to go to 135.”

In reality, Cejudo just needs to stay at 135 pounds and stop unnecessarily pushing his body to make 125. Every bad cut he has is going to take a toll on his body. At age 27, he is entering his physical prime. The next five to seven years will be Cejudo’s prime fighting years, and there is no reason to jeopardize his long-term health to compete in a weight class he has obviously outgrown.

There is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to a fighter cutting weight. Cejudo has reached that point. His body has filled out since his days as a pure wrestler, and making it down to 125 pounds will do more harm than good in the long run for him.

Cejudo has an opportunity to be great in the world of MMA. There is no one else with his credentials in the sport. Joe Warren, Ben Askren and Daniel Cormier all have impressive wrestling resumes, but none has that elusive Olympic gold medal. There are few fighters, if any, in the bantamweight division that would be able to stifle a takedown attempt from Cejudo.

To become a complete fighter, Cejudo has a lot of work ahead of him. However, his wrestling expertise is truly something to behold and something that could quickly land him in the UFC if he stops this whole 125-pound nonsense. True, the road to the UFC may be a little easier at flyweight due to the overall lack of depth in the division, but Cejudo’s body is not going to allow him to travel that path.

Even if he is able to make weight in August, will he be able to consistently make that weight going forward? The cut will only get more difficult as the years go on, and his performance and development as a fighter will suffer. If Cejudo wants to reach the highest level of MMA, then it is crucial that he listens to what his body is telling him. Right now, it is telling him not to cut to flyweight.

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report, SI.com, CBSSports.com and UFC.com. RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.