Fighters finding new life at a different weight class is a tale as old as time in MMA, but how they go about making that change can be all the difference in the world.
UFC fighter Nik Lentz is making the move down to 145lbs for his next fight and he’s enlisted the best in the business to ensure he gets down there safely with the maximum performance possible.
MMA nutritionist guru and best selling author Mike Dolce has taken over the day-to-day duties to help Lentz as he moves down to featherweight for his next bout in the Octagon.
The two crossed paths at UFC on Fox 2 in Chicago when Lentz was facing Evan Dunham, while Dolce was in town helping old friend Chael Sonnen with his weight cut as he got ready for his bout against Michal Bisping.
“He was on the same card as Chael (Sonnen) in Chicago, so I was with Chael cutting weight and I saw Nik. We don’t know each other very well but we exchanged pleasantries and what not, and about two weeks after the fight I get a phone call from Nik,” Dolce said when speaking to MMAWeekly.com.
“He wanted to talk to me because he saw how easy Chael’s cut was, and it was so organized and all the things we were doing, and he wanted to talk to me just a little bit about what I knew. We got talking and I asked him my basic list of introductory questions, body weight, things like that and it turns out two weeks after the fight with eating, not training at all, and eating pure junk food he was 173lbs. When he said 173lbs it took me back for a moment because normally after a fight, your body retains a ton of water, sodium, your body just naturally swells up. I realized he’s not a big lightweight, he’s a very small lightweight.”
Dolce has known about Lentz for a while, but had recently helped another fighter, Mark Bocek, prepare for a fight with him when getting his body right for the weight cut.
Once he found out how little weight Lentz actually had to cut, it amazed him he was competitive the way he had been at 155lbs considering some of the massive animals competing in that weight class.
Mark Bocek, who Dolce helped in preparation to face Lentz, walks around in the 190lb range before cutting down to 155lbs. Evan Dunham, who defeated Lentz on the UFC on Fox 2 card, bulks up to nearly 200lbs before a fight.
So hearing that Lentz was only cutting such a small amount of weight automatically put him at a disadvantage come fight time.
Dolce believes that the future for Lentz at featherweight is much, much brighter than an already solid career at 155lbs. Overall, Lentz had gone 5-2-1 (1 no contest) during his UFC career, with all fights taking place at lightweight.
“Nik is giving up 20lbs against really tough guys and taking them the distance. Imagine what this kid could do at 145. I really believe at 145, Nik Lentz will walk through the entire division and get the belt. I think he’s that good, I believe he’s that good,” said Dolce.
“I’m excited to be on board with him.”
The work has already begun for Lentz to make the cut down to 145lbs. Like with all his athletes, Dolce has stayed in constant contact with the fighter to make sure his daily routine is going well, and he’s hopeful for Lentz to make his featherweight debut later this summer.
However, if UFC matchmaker Joe Silva needs a late replacement, Lentz will be more than ready when the call is made.
“We work together everyday now. If Joe Silva called today and said we need you to make 145 on Friday, we’ll do it, done deal. We can do that if we have to,” said Dolce.
“I’d like to see him fight in July, maybe mid-July, this summer. To really give him to settle into the new weight class, deal with the new body weight. Basically, we’re giving him a high performance vehicle and we’d like to give him a little time to use all the bells and whistles, and all the new toys he has to play with.”
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