New UFC Weight Classes In MMA
Mixed Martial Arts is growing in popularity all around the world at a rapid pace. Both in terms of fanbase and people choosing to pursue it as a career. Therefore the elite end of the business is obviously going to become a lot more competitive, with new talent emerging from every corner of the globe. So at the risk of ruffling a few feathers of the so-called hardcore purists of our sport. I’m going to propose the introduction of three new UFC weight classes across the UFC and beyond.
It’s looking likely that a new woman’s 125lb option is in the UFC’s plans for the near future. So I will not be including that in this proposal. With the new IV restrictions now in place, it has become more difficult for fighters to compete at various weight divisions. Given the damage, the dehydration can have on your body, which could ultimately affect one’s performance. So fighters now have to compete at a more natural weight, which isn’t by any means a bad thing. But it would be nice if they had more options. Particularly those currently looking to compete north of 155lbs.
What Would Those New Weight Division’s Look Like?
From 125 lbs to 155 lbs, there are four weight classes. Each with a ten-pound gap between them. My proposal would be to change the next 170 lb welterweight division and instead continue the ten-pound trend with a new 165 lb division. (Light-Welterweight) and Welterweight being reformed with a 175 lb limit.
The 185lb Middleweight division, of course, is next in the pecking order followed by a new 195 lb (Super-Middleweight) division. Leading then to the 205 lb Light Heavyweights. It’s at this point I would then decide to abandon the ten-pound trend for the simple reason. There just isn’t as many men competing in the heavier divisions.
My final addition would be to introduce a Cruiserweight division with a 235 lb limit. As I feel the gap of fifty pounds between Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight (265lbs) is just too vast. So all this being said we would have an additional three divisions of extra entertainment. A far cry from the congested division structure of professional boxing.
I feel fighters such as Nate Diaz, Benson Henderson and Donald Cerrone could all benefit from a new Light Welterweight division. All of whom have made the 15lb jump from Lightweight to Welterweight in recent times.
Former UFC Middleweight champion Chris Weidman has spoken in the past about plans to move up a division. As has former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight Champion Gegard Mousasi who is also currently competing at 185lbs. This is where I feel the UFC could build a fantastic Super Middleweight division, that might also include talent such as Rashad Evans who is quite a small Light Heavyweight. But the drop to Middleweight would be asking too much of the former champion.
The cruiserweights would consist of the lighter heavyweights finding a new home in a division I’m confident would serve up some potential barn burning battles between big, hard-hitting, agile dudes such as Fabricio Werdum, Ruslan Magomedov and Junior dos Santos to name a few.
Titles In Multiple UFC Weight Classes
Current UFC Light Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier, who openly admits to struggling to make the 205lb limit and has also tasted Strikeforce gold as a Heavyweight, would thrive in a Cruiserweight division. The same could also be said for Cormier’s long time foe Jon ‘Bones’ Jones if he ever returns to the octagon, following his well-publicised serious of misfortunes.
I’m quite happy with the way things stand at the minute, and would hardly call the current structure anything to be deeply concerned about. But by adding these three divisions I feel would be a promising situation for everyone involved, especially the fans. And with fighters now becoming more interested in holding titles in multiple weight divisions. The likelihood of the best fighting the best becomes an increasing possibility with the divisions that little bit closer together.
By Neal Martin
Follow on Twitter: @NealKnows
Images courtesy of mmafrenzy.com & foxsports.com