Dylan Andrews is the second New Zealand UFC fighter to announce he will be moving weight classes with confirmation the Gold Coast-based brawler will drop from middleweight to welterweight when he recovers from his shoulder injury.
The Wellington-born 34-year-old lost his most recent bout at middleweight against American Clint Hester due to a doctor's stoppage at UFC Fight Night 33 in Brisbane last month.
During the second round, Andrews dislocated his shoulder when attempting to throw a punch, which meant he couldn't come out for the final frame and he was expected to spend the first half of this year on the shelf.
His decision to drop down a weight class comes shortly after former light heavyweight James Te Huna said he will slip down to middleweight.
"Me and my coaches have been analysing the division and I think I've got a lot to offer as a welterweight. I'll fight anyone in the welterweight division and I am going to be ready to fight anyone,'' Andrews told Australian website MMA Kanvas yesterday.
"I've been thinking about it only recently and I've been thinking about the welterweight division. It's a combination of everything that has gone on, particularly that the middleweights are just continually growing and getting huge.''
Late last year, Andrews told the Herald before his fight with Hester that he had been looking to add extra muscle to his frame as he was concerned he wasn't big enough in the middleweight (77-84kg) division but it appears dropping down is a more realistic option.
Andrews, who is 17-5-1 in his career, told MMA Kanvas he wanted to fight twice this year once he was over his shoulder problems.
The welterweight (70-77kg) division is stacked with talent and will shortly crown a new champion after Canadian Georges St-Pierre recently vacated his title to take time away from the sport.
Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler will fight for the vacant welterweight title at UFC 171 in Dallas in March.
Meanwhile, Te Huna confirmed around 10 days ago to website themmacorner.com that he was in need of a change after losing his last two bouts at light heavyweight.
The 32-year-old, who is 16-7 in his career, lost to Glover Teixeira via submission at UFC 160 in Las Vegas in May and was then brutally knocked out in the first round by Mauricio `Shogun' Rua at UFC Fight Night 33 in Brisbane last month.
Te Huna will drop out of the light heavyweight (84 to 93kg) division as the 15th-ranked fighter and said he would do a couple of practice cuts to ensure he could make the weight drop but didn't expect to fight for a few months.
"It's about making a fresh new start and taking on a new challenge and I know I'll be able to make middleweight,'' Te Huna told the website.
"Middleweight is probably a bit more of a natural weight for me. Right now, I am always eating so that I can stay up at light heavyweight. I'm one of the lightest guys at light heavyweight, so I know that if I eat normally I'll be able to hit middleweight. I've been fighting at light heavyweight for my whole career, but I think that this challenge is the right move.''