No matter which side of this debate you fall on, one thing is clear, if booking a great fight requires it be made at a catchweight, the UFC, and certainly Strikeforce for that matter, are not afraid to do it.
Case in point, the main event at UFC 99, Wanderlei Silva vs Rich Franklin. While we all may have our opinions on the subject, no one’s matters as much as Dana White’s.
“I met Rich in the middle,” UFC president Dana White said of the decision for the catchweight. “Rich didn’t want to cut weight. He didn’t want to go back to 85, and Wanderlei hasn’t been to 85 yet.”
…But the UFC has put together catchweight bouts, such as Matt Hughes vs. Royce Gracie at UFC 60, if it’s a match up the fans want to see. Wanderlei Silva and Rich Franklin definitely fit into that category.
“I think it’s a fun fight and it will be a fun fight to watch,” said White.
A fun fight to watch indeed, which is why I have no problem with this fight being at 195lbs. Sure, I suppose it may be a little more intriguing if the bout was more relevant to one weight class or another, but still, this is Wanderlei Silva vs Rich Franklin. Neither are knocking on Anderson’s or Rashad’s door at the moment, so why not?
Personally, I thought both Mark and Zak made solid points in their pieces, but at the end of the day, I don’t see much of a problem with catchweight bouts as long as they’re not disrupting what is happening at the top of a particular weight class. I’m not crazy about them, but if they’re necessary to see fights like Silva-Franklin and Shamrock-Diaz, you aren’t going to see me complaining.