As the UFC’s 11th ranked light heavyweight, Sweden’s Ilir Latifi is undeniably one of the best light heavyweights in the world. At just 5’10, however, he’s also one of the division’s shorter fighters.
Given his short stature, many fans have suggested that Latifi would be wise to drop from the light heavyweight division to the middleweight division. In a Sunday morning post to Instagram, however, Latifi explained that he’s far more likely to head north to the heavyweight division than he is to cut down to middleweight.
See the Swedish powerhouse’s post below.
I often get the question why I don't fight in 185, and that I should try to drop. The answer is that I've never believed in cutting a lot off weight because it affects your performance too much, I believe in being as fit as possible, having a good diet and competing in your natural weight class…In the last couple of years we have seen fighters move up weight classes and performing better than ever… It's a big difference training yourself in shape, then starving yourself to your weight, the difference is that with the right training and diet your performance will just enhance and get better… Normally I walk around weighing somewhere between 230-240, and a lot of times I was thinking of fighting in heavy weight, so you never know if you see me there one day in the future… I would definitely like to fight against Brock Lesnar, if he's still around. @brock.lesnar_
As Latifi explains, he is not a fan of cutting weight, and believes instead that fighters should compete as close to their natural weight as possible. While he may be one of the light heavyweight division’s shorter fighters, he’s also one of it’s bulkier fighters, meaning that a drop to middleweight would require an extreme weight cut. Given this, he says he’d be more inclined to move to heavyweight – where he says he would like to fight the mammoth Brock Lesnar, if he’s still around.
When we last saw Latifi in action, he was levelled by a second-round Ryan Bader knee. Prior to this crushing knockout loss, the hulking Swede was enjoying a nice three fight streak composed of triumphs over Hans Stringer, Sean O’Connell, and Gian Villente.
Lesnar, meanwhile, was last seen in the Octagon at UFC 200 in July, when he returned from a layoff of some five years to dominate Mark Hunt to a unanimous decision win. Regrettably, Lesnar’s defeat of Hunt was later overturned and ruled a no contest, as it was revealed that he’d tested positive for the estrogen enhancer clomiphene in the wake of UFC 200. Along with the reversal of his win, Lesnar was also handed a $250,000 fine by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, as well as a year-long suspension by that same commission and the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
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