As the world’s flagship for mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), is really the fight of the century. If not, it’s the pinnacle of a sparring match!
MMA fighters are not just your regular fighters. They are world-class battlers with top-ranked skills and unleveled strength. And most importantly, they are subjected to the so-called UFC Weight Divisions.
This may be familiar to some, as seen in the LED screens during fights, or perhaps in Bruce Buffer’s enthusiastic introduction of the players. But really, what do these categories imply?
Unbeknown to most is how the series of different UFC weight divisions work. And that is exactly what I am going to talk about here.
And so, grab your gears and get into the cage – for this will surely be a marvelous round of discourse!
MMA Weight Classes for Men
In total, there are eight weight divisions in the current format for males.
The strawweight division is for UFC fighters with any minimum weight but below the upper weight limit of 115 pounds.
Currently, there is no title-holder for this championship.
The next division, flyweight, is for UFC fighters with a minimum weight of 115 pounds but below the upper weight limit of 125 pounds.
Weighing 125 pounds himself, the title-holder for this category is no other than Brandon Moreno. If that does not amaze you still, let me tell you that he is the first Mexican-born fighter to reach this feat.
Another one is the Bantamweight division which is exclusive for UFC fighters with a minimum weight of 125 pounds but below the upper weight limit of 135 pounds
Aljamain Sterling, a 32-year-old UFC fighter, is the current champion for the Bantamweight division. And previously, he was once the titlist for the Cage Fury Fighting of the same category.
To follow-through is the strawweight division that caters UFC fighters with a minimum weight of 135 pounds but below the upper weight limit of 145 pounds.
The current champion for this division is Alexander Volkanovski, a 33-year-old MMA professional from Australia. He was also a former title-holder in the Australian Fighting Championship for the same weight class.
And then, the strawweight division comes after with a minimum weight of 145 pounds but below the upper weight limit of 155 pounds.
Charles Oliveira is the current champion for this UFC title.
Up next is the so-called welterweight division where UFC fighters with a minimum weight of 155 pounds but below the upper weight limit of 170 pounds are included.
The reigning UFC Welterweight champion is Kamaro Usman of Nigeria.
Second to the last is the middleweight division that handles UFC fighters with a minimum weight of 170 pounds but below the upper weight limit of 185 pounds.
Another fighter from Nigeria, Israel Adesanya, has successfully bagged this championship. Currently, he is a New Zealand professional MMA artist.
Light Heavyweight – Heavyweight
And then finally, the light heavyweight division which is composed of UFC fighters with a minimum weight of 185 pounds but below the upper weight limit of 205 pounds. As for the heavyweight, the fighters’ weight range between 205 pounds to 265 pounds.
For light heavyweight, this guy named Jan Blachowicz from Poland is the current champion. While for the heavyweight, Francis Ngannou is the prizewinner to date.
As far as the competition goes, these are the existing categories for the UFC fight. However, there’s an additional UFC weight division class called Super Heavyweight with no upper weight limit. But it is not included in the UFC competition.
MMA Weight Classes for Women
As opposed to Men’s variety of weight class divisions, female UFC fighters only have four titles.
The strawweight division is mostly used for the female category whereas men rarely compete in it. It has a no minimum weight limit but has an upper weight limit of 115 pounds.
The current UFC Strawweight Champion, in the women’s category, is no other than Rose Namajunas. She is a 29-year-old American MMA artist who bagged the gold two times in a row.
The next one is the Bantamweight division which is exclusive for UFC female fighters with a minimum weight of 125 pounds but below the upper weight limit of 135 pounds.
Amanda Nunes, a 33-year-old Brazilian MMA artist, has secured her championship in this category for women.
Next to last is the strawweight division that caters UFC female fighters with a minimum weight of 135 pounds but below the upper weight limit of 145 pounds.
Yet again, our girl Amanda Nunes is the title-hold thus far for this category. Isn’t she amazing?
At last, the flyweight division is a newly-added class in the category of women. In terms of weight range, it has a minimum weight of 135 pounds but is below the upper weight limit of 145 pounds.
The 33-year-old Kyrgyzstani-Peruvian female fighter by the name of Valentina Shevchenko is the record-holder for this division.
Indeed, female fighters aren’t ones to underestimate. If you doubt that, try on a match with the abovementioned fighters and you’ll see!
UFC’s Weight-in Policy
Imagine being a 150-pound fighter, then being paired with a 240-pound opponent during matchmaking. Doesn’t that sound a little bit unfair to you?
In the field of MMA, there is one most basic rule that is permanent in nature – and that is, you must fight within your UFC weight division.
This is for the purpose of equalizing the playing field and establishing a fair game. By fair, the two opposing fighters should not have a clear-cut advantage over the other.
And aside from impartiality, this would make things more exciting since two relatively similar opponents are fighting for one championship. Don’t you agree?
UFC Championship can undeniably have a brutal or violent façade, but there’s more to it than hooks and dukes.
Ultimately, it’s the recognition of the fighters’ rigid training, sweaty routine, arduous labor, and fast punches.
And who knows? After knowing all those categories for weight division, you might end up designating yourself and start a victorious UFC journey anew.
With this ultimate guide for UFC’s weight division, you can embark on a new beginning and be just as competent as they are.
For now, I guess it’s safe to say, see you around the ring soon?