There are times when I really miss the early days of the UFC; back when there were no weight classes and only a handful of basic rules. Sure it was more spectacle than sport, but it was glorious none the less. Watching a slight Brazilian submit men nearly double his size was what captured my imagination and got me hooked on this drug that is MMA.

While I developed a love for the good ole’ days, I have watched the sport of MMA evolve over the years. With every change, I gain a new appreciation for what this sport has become; a technically brilliant, physically demanding, combat sport, that is the ultimate test of fighting prowess.

Many so-called “MMA purists” will disagree, but I wholeheartedly believe a big reason the UFC is better off today than it was during its inception, is due to the addition of weight classes. The introduction of weight classes is what took MMA as a whole, from spectacle to sport. Weight classes changed the face of MMA because it forced fighters to become more technically sound.

By taking size out of the equation, MMA went from being about what style was most effective, to what fighter has the most talent and skills.

(UFC.com)

(UFC.com)

With all of the events the UFC is trying to host a year, various fighter injuries, and indecent weight cuts, I believe that now is the time for the UFC to lead a charge to bring more weight classes into mainstream MMA.

While they are trying to do this specifically within the women’s divisions, I am calling for an increased focus on the male weight ranges. Right now there are eight weight classes in the UFC, but I strongly believe there could be 11. By adding a cruiserweight division and utilizing 10-pound splits, there would more opportunities for fighters to compete at more natural weight classes.

The Breakdown:

Flyweight – 125 lbs.
Bantamweight – 135 lbs.
Featherweight – 145 lbs.
Lightweight – 155 lbs.
Welterweight – 165 lbs.
Super Welterweight – 175 lbs.
Middleweight – 185 lbs.
Super Middleweight – 195 lbs.
Light Heavyweight – 205 lbs.
Cruiserweight – 225 lbs.
Heavyweight – 265 lbs.

None of these classes are out of the realm of possibility, and I feel their addition to the sport could be very beneficial in the long run. I understand that too many titles can be just as damaging as not enough titles, just look at boxing. However, I believe that 11 is an ideal fit for the world’s top promotion.

Think about it from a UFC perspective. Let’s say each champion fights two times a year. With eleven male champions that would mean at least 22 title fights in a year’s span. Add the two current women’s divisions and you create 24 title fights for the masses.

Two title fights a month would be heaven on earth for MMA fans. In my biased opinion, watching a title fight is more enticing than watching just about any other sporting event.

These weight classes wouldn’t greatly dilute the talent pool. The current welterweight, middleweight and light heavyweight divisions are loaded with talent, and by creating additional weight  classes, you are creating more opportunities for the fighters to shine.

MMA as a sport is in a crucial period of time as we speak; every year new fans are discovering the sport. But, the biggest promotion in the world, the UFC, has been struggling to maintain their growth. That is due in part to the fact that they have outgrown their current weight class structure.

Adding more weight classes to the world’s top promotion would provide additional opportunities for expansion and growth.

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.

  • james george

    they need to stop limiting the big guys to 265 pounds. there are no doubt 300 pounders and bigger out there who would eat this current crop of heavyweights for breakfast. time for an unlimited super heavyweight class. would be hugely popular with fans.