Although Ronda Rousey has since left the UFC, her legacy in helping create and popularize women in the UFC lives on. The UFC currently has four different weight classes for women. Here’s a breakdown of each one.
- Strawweight – 115 lb
- Flyweight – 125 lb
- Bantamweight – 135 lb
- Featherweight – 145 lb
- A future division
- What Are the Weight Classes in UFC and MMA?
- What Are the Women’s Weight Classes in UFC?
- Unified Weight Classes – MMA
- The UFC Added a New Weight Class for Women. Here’s Why That’s Important
- Report: UFC dissolving flyweight division, releasing bulk of 125-pound fighters
- UFC divisional rankings: Curtis Blaydes, Michael Chiesa move up after big wins in Raleigh
- UFC Weight Classes – 8 Divisions
- UFC Weight Classes Complete Guide
- Mens UFC Weight Classes Chart:
- Women’s UFC Weight Classes Chart:
- The History of UFC Weight Classes
- All UFC Weight Classes in order (Light to Heavy):
- Mens UFC Weight Classes Ranges:
- Women’s UFC Weight Classes Ranges:
- UFC Weight Classes Champions: Longest title holders
- UFC Weight Classes in kg
- vs. Boxing Weight Classes
- UFC Weigh in Rules
Strawweight – 115 lb
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The women’s strawweight division is one of the most interesting divisions in the entire UFC. There are many highly-skilled fighters who are in title contention and who can beat the other women in the division.
Currently, the champion of this division is Zhang Weili. Weili became the champion after she knocked out Jessica Andrade in less than a minute. Andrade, in turn, became the champion when she slammed Rose Namajunas on her head, knocking her out.
Namajunas famously became the champion after she knocked out Joanna Jedrzejczyk in an upset victory. Jedrzejczyk was a dominant champion and she beat multiple women, including Andrade, in her title reign.
Jedrzejczyk earned her title after she brutally knocked out Carla Esparza, the first-ever strawweight champion. Esparza, poetically enough, won the inaugural strawweight title after she choked out Namajunas.
This back and forth trading of wins and losses just goes to show how deep the division is. Many fans don’t expect Weili to lose anytime soon, but with the women in her division, she just may.
Other highly skilled women to look out for in this division include Tatiana Suarez, Michelle Waterson, and Claudia Gadelha.
Flyweight – 125 lb
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The UFC opened the women’s flyweight division recently, but it already has its dominant champion. Nicco Montaño won the inaugural flyweight belt when she beat Roxanne Modafferi.
However, after Montaño failed to make weight to defend her belt against Valentina Shevchenko, she was stripped of it. To crown the next champion, the UFC matched Shevchenko with Jedrzejczyk.
At the time, Namajunas was the strawweight champion, so Jedrzejczyk had no chance to win her title back. She decided to move up in weight and face Shevchenko for the title.
In a dominant five-round decision, Shevchenko easily won the title. After that, she successfully defended it against Jessica Eye, knocking her out with a spectacular head kick.
Then, Shevchenko beat Liz Carmouche in another dominant five-round decision. With performances like that, no one knows who can beat Shevchenko at flyweight.
Some women who may try though include Joanne Calderwood, Viviane Araujo, and the strawweight champion, Weili.
Bantamweight – 135 lb
Likely the most popular women’s division, bantamweight is the home of the women that everyone’s heard of. First, it was ruled by Rousey, and then after a period of time, it’s now ruled by Amanda Nunes.
Rousey, of course, had a long and dominant reign before she was famously knocked out by Holly Holm. Holm in turn, lost against Miesha Tate in her first title defense. Tate in turn, lost against Nunes in her first title defense.
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After that though, Nunes has dominated everyone that the UFC sends her way, including beating Shevchenko and Holm. The rest of the division, unfortunately, isn’t very interesting, as Nunes has beaten many of them already.
Two women to watch out for though, are Ketlen Vieira and Aspen Ladd, both of whom are pretty good fighters and will likely fight for the title soon.
Featherweight – 145 lb
This is arguably the worst division in the entire women’s UFC because there are simply not enough fighters. The UFC started this division so that Cris Cyborg could fight in the organization. She did that and won the title easily.
However, Nunes knocked out Cyborg and won the title, and then Cyborg left the UFC a few months later. As a result, featherweight is simply an empty division that may get closed in the future.
A future division
One weight class that won’t be empty if the UFC decides to start it is the atomweight division, which has a weight limit of 105 lb. Asian MMA organizations have this weight class so the UFC could potentially start this division in the future.
While many might be used to the 18 divisions that boxing has to offer, the MMA weight divisions are slightly different and can be the cause of some confusion. The main reason for this confusion is often because the upper weight limit for each division can vary wildly what each division’s limit in boxing is. As UFC continues to grow, a through understanding of the divisions and their titles is a necessity.
What Are the Weight Classes in UFC and MMA?
UFC, along with other MMA competitions such as Bellator (but specifically not Asia’s ONE Championship) adopted the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts in December 2005. Those rules, as of 2017, recognize 13 official divisions.
Up to 115 lbs: Strawweight
115-125 lbs: Flyweight
Current UFC champion: vacant
125-135 lbs: Bantamweight
Current UFC champion: Henry Cejudo
135-145 lbs: Featherweight
Current UFC champion: Alexander Volkanovski
145-155 lbs: Lightweight
Current UFC champion: Khabib Nurmagomedov
165-165 lbs: Super Lightweight
155-170 lbs: Welterweight
Current UFC Champion: Kamaru Usman
170-175 lbs: Super Welterweight
170-185 lbs: Middleweight
Current UFC champion: Israel Adesanya
185-195 lbs: Super Middleweight
185-205 lbs: Light Heavyweight
Current UFC champion: Jon Jones
205-225 lbs: Cruiserweight
225+ lbs: Heavyweight
Current UFC champion: Stipe Miocic
What Are the Women’s Weight Classes in UFC?
The women in UFC follow these same guidelines, but only award titles for four divisions at this time.
Up to 115 lbs: Strawweight
Current UFC champion: Zhang Weili
115-125 lbs: Flyweight
Current UFC champion: Valentina Shevchenko
125-135 lbs: Bantamweight
Current UFC champion: Amanda Nunes
135-145 lbs: Featherweight
Current UFC champion: Amanda Nunes
From humble beginnings in 1993, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (better known as UFC) has surged in popularity to become one of the fastest growing sports in the world. UFC on Fox pulls in millions of viewers per broadcast. The promotion has held fights in 22 countries on six continents (not Antarctica—yet). Everyone knows Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey, the sport’s most prominent household names.
But, did you know that weight classes didn’t exist in UFC throughout its early history? Seriously, up until the late-1990’s, any fighter could fight any other fighter. It was anarchy. It was chaos.
At UFC 3, in 1994, 5’11”, 200 lb Keith Hackney defeated 6’8”, 600 lb sumo wrestler Emmanuel Yarborough with a TKO less than two minutes in, after he punched Yarborough in the back of the head about 500 times and forced the referee to stop the fight. Go check out the video. It looked like the weirdest episode of Maury you’ve ever seen. Clearly, the sport has come a long way.
While a huge size advantage did not always determine the outcome of a fight, weight classes nonetheless debuted in 1997, when fighters at UFC 12 in Dothan, Alabama were separated into lightweight and heavyweight divisions. That’s right—Dothan, Alabama, where all the magic happens. Back in ‘97, when kids weren’t starving their Tamagotchis to death, they were getting hopped up on Surge and beating the shit out of each other, inspired by the lawless mixed martial arts they saw on TV. So, politicians like John McCain worked hard to get UFC widely banned, forcing it into venues like 3,000-seat Dothan Civic Center.
UFC 16, a year later, saw the modern system take further shape with the introduction of a third weight class. Since 2000, UFC has adhered to the “Unified Rules” of MMA as established by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board—because New Jersey is the official state of both sanctioned violence and making rules about stuff without anyone asking.
Today, UFC fighters compete in nine of the weight divisions outlined by the Unified Rules, including eight in the men’s circuit and three for the women. Let’s run through a breakdown of UFC weight classes.
Unified Weight Classes – MMA
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The UFC Added a New Weight Class for Women. Here’s Why That’s Important
Earlier this month, Nicco Montano defeated Roxanne Modafferi on UFC’s TV show, The Ultimate Fighter. Along with earning a six-figure contract with the organization, the 28-year-old also picked up the first-ever women’s flyweight division title. This new weight division is set to open a lot of doors for women in the MMA who have been forced to drastically lose weight in order to fight in a division that gives them the best advantage.
Until recently, the UFC only allowed women to fight in four different weight divisions, compared to eight for men. The first is strawweight where fighters must be 115 pounds during weigh-ins. That’s followed by bantamweight, which jumps to 135 pounds, then featherweight at 145 pounds. Because of the massive 20-pound jump between the strawweight and bantamweight classes, several women in the UFC have been clamoring to add another division in between.
“The jump between 115 and 135 pounds is massive, especially if you naturally fall at 125, which a lot of women in the UFC do,” Montano tells Shape. “That’s why there really isn’t a ‘healthy’ way to make strawweight or bantamweight, but women still did it because of their love for the sport and because they want to fight.”
“Women have never naturally fit into two or one weight divisions, so for years they’ve been trying to make it in this sport by resorting to desperate measures,” Modafferi tells Shape. “The more weight classes you add, the more you’re able to eliminate unhealthy weight cutting and surprise advantages and disadvantages, and ultimately, that should be the goal.” (Don’t leave all the fighting to these ladies-here’s why you should give MMA a try yourself.)
More women are fighting in the UFC than ever before, so it made sense to introduce a new weight division to allow them to compete on more levels. “Whenever you add a new weight division, everyone tries to cut down, it’s a part of the sport. Fighters are always going to do that to make sure they have an advantage,” Dana White, the founder and President of the UFC tells Shape. “But obviously the sport has grown for women and there are so many talented tactical fighters who’ve been screaming for the 125-pound division, so I figured it was time.”
Ultimately, a lot of fighters will continue to cut weight if it puts them in a better position to win. Take Sijara Eubanks. The 32-year-old was actually set to take on Montano instead of Modafferi in the final episode of The Ultimate Fighter but was pulled from the fight last minute. The reason for her abrupt removal was her attempted weight cut that caused her to go into kidney failure and landed her in the hospital. Despite the health scare, Eubanks, who is naturally around 140 pounds, still plans to continue competing in the 125-pound division because she believes that’s where she has the most advantage.
While Eubanks could lose five pounds and fight at bantamweight (135) or gain five pounds and compete as a featherweight (145), she chooses to fight in the flyweight (125) division. “I have a lot of professionals in my corner that look at my stature and my body and say that, ‘Yes, you do have the frame to walk in the low ’40s in a healthy way and you can cut to 125 in a healthy way,’ ” Eubanks recently said on a recent edition of The MMA Hour. “So if my body can physically walk at flyweight without doing damage to my health, then I’m a flyweight.”
At the end of the day, weight cuts are a huge part of the MMA for both men and women. And while they pose serious health risks regardless (Joanna Jędrzejczyk can speak to that) bridging a 10-pound weight gap is a heck of a lot easier (and healthier) than trying to put on or take off 20 pounds.
Report: UFC dissolving flyweight division, releasing bulk of 125-pound fighters
It was only a matter of time.
After former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson took his talents to ONE Championship, talks of the promotion doing away with the 125-pound weight class started to emerge. And now it seems the domino pieces are starting to fall.
According to Flo Combat, the Endeavor-owned fight promotion will indeed do away with the weight class altogether and will only keep a few select fighters, forcing them to move up to Bantamweight. The rest of the field will be handed their pink slips, such as Jose Torres, who took to social media to announce the news.
Im the 1st to be let go. I didnt get to finish my UFC contract with 2 fights left because they are cutting most of my division n not giving some of us a chance to bump up n prove ourselves like myself. So now it’s time to move on to bigger and better things. Good luck small guys! pic.twitter.com/lUMijsRoDm
— Jose Shorty Torres (@ShortyTorres125) November 7, 2018
Im the 1st to be let go. I didnt get to finish my UFC contract with 2 fights left because they are cutting most of my division n not giving some of us a chance to bump up n prove ourselves like myself. So now it’s time to move on to bigger and better things. Good luck small guys!
First to speak up, first to be let go. It’s a tough business.
With the 125-pound division going up in smoke, it opens up the 135-pound weight class a bit more and allows the promotion to stack up the division and create intriguing matchups, such as the proposed “super fight” between flyweight champ Henry Cejudo and Bantamweight champion, T.J. Dillashaw.
Though it’s safe to say the “super fight” tag will no longer be applicable.
Expect more fighters to announce their respective departures from the promotion in the coming days, so keep it tuned to MMAmania.com for more on this developing news.
There has never been more talent in the UFC than there is now, which is great for all of us MMA fans. All weight divisions in the UFC have some excellent fighters, however, not all divisions are as stacked as others. Today we’ll be ranking the top divisions in the UFC as of now. What makes certain divisions stand out above the rest? Is it the amount of talent, the excitement of throwing dolly’s into bus windows, or possibly the emergence of the new UFC belt?
Speaking of the belt, the days of interim belts are upon us. After all, what would be a UFC PPV event without that shiny gold belt on the line? I predict in 2019 we’ll see more interim belts given out than ever before, hell we’ll even see a PPV event highlighting two interim title bouts.
Don’t get me wrong, there is a time and place for interim belts, usually when a champion is injured or suspended (cough Khabib) for an extended period of time it makes sense. However, it seems that we’re at a point in time when the UFC feels obligated to have a title fight for every PPV event. It’s no secret that this type of business model devalues UFC gold.
10. (Tie) Men’s and Women’s Flyweight
In the beginning of 2019, there were rumors swirling around that Tj Dillashaw was sent down to face Henry Cejudo to destroy the flyweight division. We all know what happened in that fight (32 second knockout victory for Cejudo) and Dana White’s plans blew up in his face. Although the flyweight division has struggled for some time, I’m not sure eliminating it was ever the right answer. Although Cejudo’s performance was inspiring nonetheless, it didn’t make the empty flyweight division anymore exciting.
Both the Men’s and Women’s flyweight are terribly boring right now. If things stay the same on the Women’s end, I predict Shevchenko has the ability to hold the title for years to come. If only we could do a trade to send some excitement to these empty flyweight divisions.. if only.
9. Women’s Bantamweight
After Amanda Nunes stopped Cyborg in the first round, many hailed her as the Women’s GOAT of MMA (shoutout to Ronda Rousey, we miss you). Although Nunes is certainly the best in Women’s MMA right now, it doesn’t really bring much excitement when she doesn’t have many worthy challengers in the bantamweight division.
I mean when you have someone like Germaine De Randamie as a number one contender, there really isn’t much to be excited about. I will say that the bright side to this division is definitely future superstar Ketlen Viera, look for her to make waves this year and possibly challenge Nunes for that historic Women’s bantamweight belt.
8. Light Heavyweight
With Jon Jones absolutely dominating his last few fights Light Heavyweight is missing Daniel Cormier now more than ever. The only thing that could revamp this division is if a future superstar like Johnny Walker continues winning. The reason why this division may seem boring is because of Jon Jones is just leaps above everyone when it comes to talent.
Who will be the one to stop Jones? Will it be the young challenger in Walker, or will it be Thiago Santos who has looked great after moving up from Middleweight? Will the trilogy with DC move up to the heavyweight division? Only time will tell.. One thing is for certain, Jon Jones is the current GOAT, steroids or not.
7. Women’s Strawweight
The Women’s strawweight division has never been more exciting than it is now, with a new champion in Rose Namajunas. There are many rising stars in this division that will make a year of exciting fights.
When Rose shocked the world finishing long reigning champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk in the first round, many believed it was a fluke. Rose silenced all doubters when she dominated Joanna again in a 5 round-war. Joanna then went on to move up to the emerging flyweight division, only to lose to current title holder Shevchenko.
Number one contender Jessica Andrade will look to challenge Rose for the belt sometime this year. While other rising superstars such as Tatiana Suarez and Weili Zhang will have to wait their turn to challenge the current strawweight champ. As I said, there has never been more formidable challengers in Women’s strawweight than there are right now.
Heavyweight is filled with excitement again now that Francis Ngannou got his swagger back, finishing below sea level Cain in the first round. I think I speak for everyone when I say we would love to see Francis work on his wrestling and challenge current champ Daniel Cormier to a title fight. Although there is a slim to none chance of that happening, as Cormier has said again and again he plans to take one more fight before retiring (namely the Brock Lesner fight).
The only thing that could make this division more exciting is if Jon Jones moved up in weight to finally finish the trilogy with a heavyweight title fight against Cormier. Does anyone have a good Pico de gallo recipe by any chance? In all seriousness, I’d personally love to see the trilogy fight in the heavyweight division, although I know not everyone agrees with this.
5. Men’s Bantamweight
Although Men’s bantamweight was much more exciting when Dominick Cruz was actually taking fights, it’s still definitely one of the most stacked divisions currently in the UFC. The bantamweight division was on fire after Cody Garbrandt dethroned Cruz, although his title reign didn’t last very long, eventually losing twice to current champion Tj Dillashaw.
I believe the divisions number one contender, Marlon Moraes, is a clear favorite to get the next title shot. Although things are a bit in limbo now after the current champion, Tj Dillashaw, moved down in weight only to lose to flyweight champion Henry Cejudo. Will Henry Cejudo now move up to face Dillashaw for the bantamweight strap? Thing’s are certainly interesting in the UFC’s bantamweight division again.
Just a few years ago many people believe the UFC’s middleweight divisions was the deepest division of them all. With fighters like Luke Rockhold, Chris Weidman, and Anderson Silva, it’s hard to disagree with them. The one thing that stands out to me is all three of those fighters seem to be on the downside of their career currently. Silva is of course the GOAT, however, it’s no shocker that him being well into his 40’s is a big reason he continues racking up losses, Weidman has also underperformed in his last 5 or so fights, Rockhold is planning a move to light heavyweight so we’ll see if that increase in weight will help his fragile chin.
Although the three fighters above aren’t really in the mix for title contention, there’s still loads of other’s that look to take down the current champ, Robert Whittaker. Emerging fighters like Israel Adesanya, Kelvin Gastelum, and Paulo Costa, bring new life to an aging division. Kelvin Gastelum and Israel Adesanya will fight for the interim belt later this year, while current title holder Robert Whittaker is sidelined with a scary injury that forced him out of UFC 234.
The historic welterweight division hasn’t been this exciting since pre-USADA, shout out to Johny Hendricks. With a new king in Kamaru Usman, I guess we might actually see the people’s champ (or so he calls himself) Colby Covington actually fight for a real belt (after being stripped of his interim belt, surprise surprise).
Welterweight is stacked with fighters such as former champ Tyron Woodley, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson”, and emerging challengers Ben Askren, and Darren Till. I for one am excited to see how things play out over the remainder of the year, will we have another title holder in the welterweight division? Or will upgraded Kamaru Usman have a long title reign, similar to Tyron Woodley? Only time will tell.
Has there ever been a time in history when the UFC’s featherweight division wasn’t exciting? I think the most amazing thing about the featherweight division is that the current champ, Max Holloway, is on a 13 fight win streak and shows no signs of slowing down. The last person to beat Max in a UFC fight was former two division champ Conor McGregor, maybe you’ve heard of him. Did we also mention Max will be fighting for the lightweight (interim) title against Dustin Poirier later this year? Crazy times we’re living in.
So what’s going to happen to the stacked featherweight division while Max is up at lightweight? Anything is possible when you have the featherweight GOAT Jose Aldo in the mix. Aldo seems to be unstoppable against anyone not named Max Holloway or Conor McGregor, so it’ll be interesting if he continues this domination of defeating emerging superstars. Does Aldo have what it takes to continue his win streak when he faces Alexander Volkanovski later this year? What about Zabit? You didn’t forget about Brian Ortega did you? There is way too much questions about this featherweight division and the answers will only come through time.
The most exciting and toughest division in the UFC is the lightweight division, and it’s not even close. You have a suspended undefeated title holder in Khabib Nurmagomedov. You have Tony Ferguson who is on an 11 fight win streak. You have Conor McGregor who draws in millions of eyeballs and dollars to every fight. You have so much excitement in this division and we’re only talking about the top 3 lightweights in the world. Not to mention that from bottom to top this is easily the most stacked division in all of the UFC.
The fact that Tony Ferguson isn’t fighting for the next title shot is an absolute crime (“that’s f***ing illegal” – Dana White). You have Al Iaquinta in the top 5, followed by the likes of Kevin Lee, Edson Barbosa, Justin Gaethje. Any one of these fighters has the talent to compete for the belt. Not to mention emerging superstars such as Gregor Gillespie and Alexander Hernandes (although his hype train was derailed after Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone finished him). There is just too much chaos in the current lightweight division, and you know we love chaos.
UFC divisional rankings: Curtis Blaydes, Michael Chiesa move up after big wins in Raleigh
Curtis Blaydes made a very strong case for the heavyweight title shot he has demanded with a knockout of former champ Junior dos Santos in the main event of UFC Fight Night 166 this past Saturday. The victory moved Blaydes up a spot in the CBS Sports UFC Divisional Rankings to No. 4 at heavyweight, leapfrogging dos Santos in the process. The other big move this week was Michael Chiesa’s win over Rafael Dos Anjos vaulting him to the No. 9 spot at welterweight after being previously unranked.
With a weekend break, the UFC Octagon will bring us more action with the stacked UFC 247 event coming up in Houston. That card has significant ramifications for the rankings, with a pair of title fights headlining the event.
At UFC 247 on Saturday, Feb. 8, there are four fights featuring CBS Sports ranked fighters:
- Light heavyweight: No. 1 Jon Jones vs. No. 2 Dominick Reyes
- Women’s flyweight: No. 1 Valentina Shevchenko vs. No. 2 Katlyn Chookagian
- Heavyweight: No. 8 Derrick Lewis vs. Ilir Latifi
- Bantamweight: No. 7 Jimmie Rivera vs. Marlon Vera
Can’t get enough UFC? Subscribe to our podcast State of Combat with Brian Campbell where we break down everything you need to know in the Octagon.
Rankings are compiled following the submission of ballots by Brent Brookhouse, Brian Campbell, Jack Crosby and Brandon Wise. Without further ado, here’s where things stand ahead of the monumental UFC 244 event on Saturday night.
For Brian Campbell’s updated Pound for Pound Rankings, .
UFC Weight Classes – 8 Divisions
The 8 Weight Divisions of the UFC
By Loot, MMA Handicapper, Lootmeister.com
When the UFC first began, you could see a 160-pound guy fighting a 400-pounder. Thankfully, as the sport has evolved, so have the weight classes. It took a while, but we are now up to 8 weight classes. It wasn’t too long ago where there was only heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight, and lightweight. But now, featherweight, bantamweight, and flyweight have been added to the UFC lineup, in addition to a women’s bantamweight class. MMA fans are now beginning to see what boxing fans have known for generations–that sometimes the small fighters make for the best fights. Here is a breakdown of all the weight classes in the UFC.
Heavyweight: The maximum weight for heavyweight is 265 pounds. Unlike boxing, there is a maximum weight for the big boys. The first heavyweight champion was Mark Coleman, who won the title in 1997. Some of the better UFC Heavyweight Champions have been Coleman, Randy Couture, Bas Rutten, Frank Mir, Andrei Arlovski, Brock Lesnar, Junior dos Santos, and Cain Velasquez.
Light Heavyweight: The maximum weight for light heavyweight is 205 pounds. This has been the glamor division of the UFC, with some of the best and most important fights having taken place within this division. The first crowned light heavyweight champion was Frank Shamrock, who claimed the belt in 1997. Some of the better light heavyweight champions have been Shamrock, Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, Lyoto Machida, and Jon Jones.
Middleweight: The maximum weight for middleweight is 185 pounds. The division has been home to some of the best fights in the organization. The division’s first-ever champion was Dave Menne, who claimed the title in 2001. Among the stalwart middleweight champions that have plied their trade in the UFC include Rich Franklin and UFC record-holder Anderson Silva, who defended his title more than any UFC fighter in history (10 times), before losing his belt in 2013 to Chris Weidman.
Welterweight: The maximum weight for welterweight is 170 pounds. Another cornerstone of the UFC, the welterweight division has seen some of the sport’s biggest stars and the best rivalries. A disproportionate number of the sport’s biggest stars did their finest work in the welterweight division. The first welterweight champion was Pat Miletich, who won the title in 1998. Among the division’s finest champions include Miletich, Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, and long-reigning champion Georges St. Pierre.
Lightweight: The maximum weight for lightweight is 155 pounds. For the longest time, this was the smallest weight class in the UFC, but it produced some of its biggest stars. The first-ever champion was Jens Pulver, who was champion in 2001-2002. Among the best champions in the history of the UFC lightweight division are Sean Sherk, BJ Penn, Frankie Edgar, and Benson Henderson, who lost his title to Anthony Pettis in 2013.
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Featherweight: The maximum weight limit for featherweight is 145 pounds. This is one of newer divisions added to the UFC, as the organization tries to make accommodations for some of the better smaller fighters in the world. They are glad they did, as featherweight instantly turned into a hotbed of action in the UFC. Reigning since 2010, Brazilian Jose Aldo established himself as a top force in the UFC and the first star featherweight.
Bantamweight: Another division that is among the more recent additions to the UFC, bantamweight has a maximum weight limit of 135 pounds. When the UFC merged with WEC, they absorbed a bunch of fighters who participated in divisions that had not yet been embraced by the UFC. This is when the UFC added featherweight and bantamweight. The first champion was Dominick Cruz, but injuries forced him onto the sidelines for a long spell. In his absence, Renan Barao stepped in as interim champion, becoming the top bantamweight fighter in the world.
Flyweight: The smallest division in the UFC has a maximum weight allowance of 125 pounds. In 2012, the UFC had a 4-man tournament to determine the identity of its first-ever UFC Flyweight Champion. That tournament was won by lightning-fast Demetrious Johnson, who proved his worth by winning some subsequent title defenses, where he immediately lent credence to the flyweight division.
UFC Women’s Division
Bantamweight: As of this writing, bantamweight is the only women’s division. Just as with the men, the maximum allowable weight is 135 pounds. Women’s fights only became part of the UFC in 2013, with Ronda Rousey named the champion, based on her being the WEC champion. As women’s MMA increases in popularity, look for the number of divisions to increase.
UFC Weight Classes Complete Guide
Mens UFC Weight Classes Chart:
UFC Weight Division:
265 lbs / 120 kgs
205 lbs / 93 kgs
185 lbs / 84 kgs
170 lbs / 77 kgs
155 lbs / 70 kgs
145 lbs / 65 kgs
135 lbs / 61 kgs
125 lbs / 56 kgs
Women’s UFC Weight Classes Chart:
UFC Weight Division:
145 lbs / 65 kgs
Germaine De Randamie
135 lbs / 61 kgs
125 lbs / 57 kgs
115 lbs / 52 kgs
The History of UFC Weight Classes
UFC weight classes were introduced into the organization at UFC 12, For the first time two weight divisions were formed to split competitors into 200 lbs and above and below 200 lbs. These were called Heavyweight and Lightweight respectively. Prior to this, all UFC’s were open weight events with athletes of all different sizes and weights competing in one division.
The most extreme example of this open weight format was seen at UFC 3, when 200 lb. fighter Keith Hackney squared off against 600 lb. and 6′ 8″ Emmanuel Yarbrough.
BJ Penn was a two division UFC champ
Weight classes in the UFC and MMA were finalized in the year 2001. This is when the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board voted to agree on what later became known as the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. These unified rules specified 11 MMA weight classes that have become the standard for athletic commissions across North America.
The most recent development in the UFC weight classes is the addition of the Women’s 145 lb weight division. This was announced by Dana White in Dec 2016
All UFC Weight Classes in order (Light to Heavy):
All the UFC weight classes listed in order from lightest to heaviest.
Mens UFC weight classes: Flyweight, Bantamweight, Featherweight, Lightweight, Welterweight, Middleweight, Light Heavyweight, Heavyweight
Women’s UFC weight classes: Strawweight, Flyweight, Bantamweight, Featherweight
Mens UFC Weight Classes Ranges:
UFC Flyweight Division -125 lbs.
The UFC flyweight division is 125 lbs and under. This is currently the lightest men’s weight class in the UFC.
The current UFC flyweight champion is Demetrious Johnson. He is widely considered the best pound for pound fighter in the history of the UFC. He currently holds a 12 fight win streak and has defended his title 9 times.
UFC Bantamweight Division 135 lbs.
The UFC bantamweight division range is 135 lbs and under. The current UFC Bantamweight champ is Cody Garbrandt.
Garbrandt won the UFC bantamweight belt when he defeated Dominic Cruz at UFC 207 by unanimous decision.
It looks likely that Garbrandt’s first title defense will be against former champion and former team mate T.J Dillashaw. It was recently announced that Dillashaw and Garbrandt would coach opposite each other on the latest series of The Ultimate Fighter.
UFC Featherweight Division 145 lbs.
The UFC featherweight division range is 145lbs and under. The current UFC featherweight champ is Max Holloway. He won the title with a 3rd round stoppage of Jose Aldo at UFC 212 on 3rd June 2017.
The UFC 145 lb. championship has been unpredictable lately with the title changing hands three times. Previously held by pound for pound great Jose Aldo since the weight division started in the UFC, it was then taken in stunning fashion by Conor McGregor when he knocked out Aldo in 13 secs flat back in December 2015. McGregor then promptly vacated the title and it was re-captured by Aldo in July 2016 when he beat Frankie Edgar. Aldo was unsuccessful in defending the title during this second run however, losing the belt in his first defence to Max Holloway.
UFC Lightweight Division 155 lbs.
The UFC lightweight division range is 155 lbs and under. The 155 lb. division is commonly regarded as one of the most competitive weight classes in the UFC today.
The current UFC lightweight champ is also Conor McGregor. He won the title by beating Eddie Alvarez via 2nd round TKO at UFC 205 on 12th November at Madison Square Garden New York. In doing so, McGregor became the first and only UFC fighter in history to hold two titles simultaneously.
A famous former lightweight champion was BJ Penn. Penn had previously captured the UFC welterweight belt before he came back to the UFC as a lightweight. He managed to defend the title three times before losing it to Eddie Alvarez team mate Frankie Edgar.
UFC Welterweight Division 170 lbs.
The UFC welterweight division range is 170lbs and under. The current UFC welterweight champ is Tyrone Woodley. Woodley’s most recent title defense was against Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson at UFC 205. Unusually, this fight was ruled a ‘majority draw” with Woodley retaining the title.
Woodley won the UFC welterweight title after beating Robbie Lawler by KO in the first round. His next title defense has not been announced yet but looks likely to be a rematch with Thompson.
This division was made famous by its previous champion George Saint Pierre or GSP as he’s commonly referred to. GSP vacated the title after a close split decision win over Johnny Hendricks at UFC 167, St Pierre vs Hendricks back in November 2013. He has not fought in the UFC since then.
UFC Middleweight Division 185 lbs.
The UFC middleweight division range is 185lbs and under. The current UFC middleweight champ is Michael Bisping.
Bisping won the title after knocking out Luke Rockhold in the first round. This was considered by many as one of the biggest UFC upsets of 2016 so far.
At UFC 204 Bisping succeeded in his first title defense, beating Dan Henderson by decision. In doing so he set a new record for the most wins in UFC history at 20 wins. This surpasses the old record of 19 wins previously held by George St Pierre. He also avenged his most devastating career loss after being knocked out by Henderson in brutal fashion during their previous bout.
The UFC middleweight division is home to the legendary fighter Anderson Silva who held the title for a record 10 title defenses. He remains at the top of many all time UFC pound for pound rankings lists.
UFC Light Heavyweight Division 205 lbs.
The UFC light heavyweight division range is 205 lbs and under. The current UFC light heavyweight champ is Daniel Cormier.
Cormier is an ex-olympic wrestler in freestyle wrestling. He is also a commentator and panelist for the UFC. Cormiers only loss in the UFC is to ex-light heavyweight champ Jon Jones. Other notable fighters in this division include Alexander Gustafsson and Jimi Manuwa.
UFC Heavyweight Division 205 – 265 lbs.
The UFC heavyweight division range is for fighters over 205lbs and under 265 lbs. The current UFC heavyweight champ is Stipe Miocic. The UFC Heavyweight title is seen as something of a ‘hot potato’ with no champion managing to defend the belt more than twice.
The UFC heavy weight division upper limit of 265 lbs is the heaviest any fighter can weigh whilst competing in the UFC. Some fighters are so heavy they actually still have to cut weight to get down to this weight. Examples include Brock Lesnar, Mark Hunt and Antonio bigfoot Silva.
The tallest fighter in the UFC is heavyweight fighter Stefan Struve at 7′ tall. This is a massive 9 inches taller than the average heavyweight.
Women’s UFC Weight Classes Ranges:
To date there are only three women’s UFC weight classes. They were first introduced on February 23rd 2013 at UFC 157 when Ronda Rousey fought Liz Carmouche in her first defence of the womens UFC bantamweight title.
The Women’s strawweight division was later introduced into the UFC on December 12th 2014. The first strawweight bout took place on this day on the prelims of the Ultimate Fighter 20 finale. The main event crowned the first women’s strawweight champion, Carla Esparza, when she defeated Rose Namajunas to win the belt.
Women’s UFC Strawweight Division -115 lbs.
The women’s UFC Strawweight division is 115 lbs and under. The current women’s UFC Strawweight champion is Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Joanna won the title when she knocked out former and first ever women’s strawweight champ Carla Esparza in the second round at UFC 185 back in March 2015. She has proved to be a relatively active / dominant champ since then, defending the belt four times, most recently against Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC 205.
Women’s UFC Flyweight Division -125 lbs.
The UFC Women’s Flyweight division is the latest weight class to be added to the UFC roster. There is currently no champion at this weight. A new champ will be crowned at the finale of TUF season 26 later this year.
Women’s UFC Bantamweight Division 135 lbs.
The women’s UFC Bantamweight division is 135 lbs and under. The current UFC women’s Bantamweight champ is Amanda Nunes.
This division was made famous by former champion Ronda Rousey. She was the most dominant women’s champion in UFC history before losing her belt in one of the organisations biggest ever upsets to Holly Holm. Holm then lost the title in another big UFC upset to Meisha Tate. Tate then lost the belt in her first title defense to current champ Amanda Nunes.
Women’s UFC Featherweight Division 145 lbs.
The women’s UFC Featherweight division is 145 lbs and under. On December the 13th 2016 the UFC announced the first fight in this new weight class.
The current UFC women’s 145 lb champ is Germaine De Randamie. She won the title at UFC 208 Brooklyn on Feb 11th 2017, beating Holly Holme for the strap. In doing so, De Randamie became the first ever champion in this most recently added UFC weight class. The fight was deemed somewhat controversial as De Randamie was twice warned for strikes landed after the bell.
UFC Weight Classes Champions: Longest title holders
This info-graphic shows the longest UFC belt holders title reign to date at each UFC weight division.
To date, the weight classes at either end of the scale (lightweight and heavyweight) are by far the hardest divisions to hold the title for any length of time.
The middleweight division currently holds the record for having the longest UFC title holder in history with Anderson Silva defending his belt ten times.
Flyweight champ Demetrious “mighty mouse” Johnson is currently the most likely challenger to this record with eight defences and still holding the belt.
All the other divisions belts have changed hands relatively recently. Jon Jones almost certainly could have challenged for the record if not for his recent troubles which resulted in him being stripped of his Light Heavyweight Championship .
UFC Weight Classes in kg
For all (most) of our non US based readership you’re probably wondering what are the UFC weight classes in kg? See our handy reference below that gives the metric equivalent of each weight class:
UFC Flyweight Division 125 lbs. = 57kgs
UFC Bantamweight Division 135 lbs. = 61kgs
UFC Featherweight Division 145 lbs. = 66kgs
UFC Lightweight Division 155 lbs. = 70kgs
UFC Welterweight Division 170 lbs. = 77kgs
UFC Middleweight Division 185 lbs. = 84kgs
UFC Light Heavyweight Division 205 lbs. = 93kgs
UFC Heavyweight Division 205 – 265 lbs. = 120kgs (upper limit)
vs. Boxing Weight Classes
The UFC has far fewer weight classes that the equivalent boxing organisations out there. You can see our direct comparison chart here, to see which boxing weight class a UFC fighter would compete in.
UFC Weigh in Rules
For non-championship fights an athlete may miss the fight weight by up to one pound. For UFC title fights, the weight limit must be met. Although not an official rule, often times if one fighter fails to make weight, a catch weight UFC fight is sanctioned. This allows the bout still to take place.
The UFC has fined fighters a percentage of their fight purse in the past for missing weight. The California State Athletic Commission has recently proposed additional fines of 20% of a fighters win bonus, should they miss weight and then go on to win the bout.
More recently, certain athletic commissions across the states have adopted new weigh in rules. The most notable difference being a longer weigh in period for the fighters. It remains to be seen whether these rules will become the norm going forward for future UFC events.
Though many have had the opportunity, only five fighters in UFC history have won UFC titles in multiple weight classes.
First title: UFC heavyweight championship
Randy Couture won a majority decision over Maurice Smith at UFC Japan on Dec. 21, 1997, to become the heavyweight champion for the first time. He would win that title three separate times.
Second title: UFC light heavyweight championship
Entering UFC 44 against Tito Ortiz as the interim light heavyweight champion, Couture unified the titles with a unanimous decision on Sept. 26, 2003. He would win the 205-pound title a second time the following year.
First title: UFC welterweight championship
BJ Penn submitted Matt Hughes in the first round at UFC 46 to win the 170-pound title on Jan. 31, 2004.
Second title: UFC lightweight championship
Four years later, Penn submitted Joe Stevenson at UFC 80 to win the 155-pound title on Jan. 19, 2008.
First title: UFC featherweight championship
Conor McGregor knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds at UFC 194 on Dec. 12, 2015, to win the featherweight title.
Second title: UFC lightweight championship
McGregor, the reigning featherweight champion at the time, took Eddie Alvarez into the second round before stopping him via strikes at UFC 205 at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 12, 2016, to add the UFC lightweight title to his resume. McGregor became the first fighter to hold UFC titles in multiple divisions at the same time.
First title: UFC welterweight championship
St-Pierre first won the title on Nov. 18, 2006 against Matt Hughes. He lost it to Matt Serra the following year, then won it back on April 19, 2008. GSP then went on an historic run as welterweight champion, defending the belt nine times before vacating the title in November 2013 to take a break from the sport.
Second title: UFC middleweight championship
St-Pierre returned from a four-year hiatus and submitted Michael Bisping via rear naked choke in the third round to win the middleweight title at UFC 217 at Madison Square Garden on Nov. 4, 2017. St-Pierre became the fourth fighter to win title in two UFC weight divisions.
First title: UFC light heavyweight championship
Daniel Cormier claimed the vacant title with a third-round submission of Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 on May 23, 2015.
Second title: UFC heavyweight championship
Late in the first round at UFC 226, Cormier dropped Stipe Miocic with an elbow out of the clinch, then finished the longest-reigning heavyweight champ in UFC history with strikes with 27 seconds left. Cormier became the second fighter in UFC history to hold titles in multiple weight classes at the same time.
First title: UFC women’s bantamweight championship
In the main event of UFC 200, Amanda Nunes announced herself with a first-round stoppage of Miesha Tate to take the women’s bantamweight title on July 9, 2016. She defended it three times before becoming a double champ.
Second title: UFC women’s featherweight championship
Nunes knocked out Cris Cyborg 51 seconds into the first round at UFC 232 on Dec. 29, 2018, ending the featherweight champion’s 13-year unbeaten run in spectacular fashion.
First title: UFC flyweight championship
Cejudo ended Demetrious Johnson’s six-year reign as king of the flyweights with a split decision victory at UFC 227 on Aug. 4, 2018, in Los Angeles.
Second title: UFC bantamweight championship
Cejudo beat Marlon Moraes for the vacant bantamweight title at UFC 238 on June 8 in Chicago. Moraes put it on Cejudo in the first round, but Cejudo adjusted to return the favor in the next two rounds, earning the TKO with nine seconds left in the third.
By Mark La Monica [email protected] @LaMonicaMark
Mark La Monica is the deputy sports editor for cross-media at Newsday. He also covers mixed martial arts.