May 22, 2024
UFC Weight Divisions

Ranked as the leading Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has several weight divisions. Generally, there are twelve (12) weight classes in which male fighters compete for
eight, while four divisions are reserved for female fighters. However, it should be noted that three weight classes have both male and female fighters divisions, while Strawweight is exclusive to female MMAs.

Every mixed martial artist is classified under different weight classes under which they can compete. For each division, there is a weight limit set by the UFC officials who weigh the fighters a day before their actual competition. Failure to meet up with the standard weight rank could be punishable by disqualification. In some cases, an MMA fighter could be given an hour to reconfigure his weight if he weighs slightly above the scale standard. The point is, for every weight division, a fighter must be
within a range of weight class to qualify for a bout.

The world weight divisions rankings in the UFC in descending order are under-listed:

#Heavyweight: Jon Jones

The weight range for the Heavyweight class is 205lb-265lb. Currently, the UFC World Heavyweight champion is Jon Jones. He had topped the light heavyweight position twice in his fighting career (2011-2015 and 2018-2020). However, the 36-year-old American MMA became the heavyweight champion earlier this year (Mar. 2023) when he won his bout against Ciryl Gane.

#Light heavyweight: Jamahal Hill

MMA fighters in the Light Heavyweight class must fall within the weight range of 185lb-205lb. Top of the class is Jamahal Hill, who bagged the Light Heavyweight Champion after defeating Glover Teixeira on 21st January 2023. Unfortunately, he recently forfeited his title because of an injury. Could this be a replay of Jiri Prochazka’s shoulder injury that left the light heavyweight position vacant before Hill’s victory?

#Middleweight: Israel Adesanya

The minimum and maximum weight limits for the UFC Middleweight championship are set at 170lb-185lb. Israel Adesanya, a Nigerian cum New Zealand MMA professional, is the current holder of the Middleweight championship belt. He took the top of the division after his knockout victory against Alex Pereira in April 2023.

#Welterweight: Leon Edwards

Leon Edwards, the current UFC Welterweight Champion, defeated Kamaru Usman to retain his position on March 18, 2023. The English MMA upheld his knockout victory against K. in August 2022 as he
completed their trilogy. Edwards remains notable for his unbeatable record after 12 consecutive matches. However, this is the first time he defended his championship title.

#Lightweight: Islam Makhachev

Islam Makhachev stands tall as the Lightweight champion. The 70kg weighted fighter came victorious during a second-round submission fight against Charles Oliveira in October 2022. The 31-year-old Russian MMA won the Lightweight championship for the first time in his fighting career. Of course, he’d have to defend or lose it.

#Featherweight: Alexander Volkanovski

The Featherweight Championship is one of the divisions in UFC that has two distinct classes for male and female fighters. Currently, Australian fighter, Alexander Volkanovski is the champion of the male Featherweight class. Laudably, he has defended his belt for consecutive times since 2019. The female Featherweight position has however been vacant following the retirement of Amanda Nunes in June.

#Bantamweight: Sean O’Malley

About a week ago (August 19, 2023), Sean O’Malley was declared the Bantamweight champion following his TKO (Technical Knockout) of Aljamain Sterling in the bout. He gallantly won the victory in less than a
minute. In July 2022, Amanda Nunes beat Julianna Pena to become the Women’s Bantamweight champion. She defended her title by defeating Irene Aldana on June 10, 2023, after which she announced her retirement.

#Flyweight: Alexandre Pantoja

The Flyweight is the third UFC division that has both male and female divisions. Alexandre Pantoja, a Brazilian MMA, currently holds the championship of the Flyweight. He obtained his new title after beating
Brandon Moreno in July 2023. Pantoja’s female victory counterpart in the Flyweight competition is Alexa Grasso- a Mexican fighter- who defeated Valentina Shevchenko in their March 4 bout.

#Strawweight: Zhang Weili

The strawweight championship has no lower weight limit but has an upper weight limit of 52.2kg. It is the only women’s division in the UFC. Zhang Weili is the first female Chinese mixed martial artist to win the Strawweight. She is currently holding her second position as the winner of the title. However, she has won several strategic bouts since the beginning of her fighting career.

Although there are 12 weight divisions rankings in the UFC, both male and female MMA fighters have separate classes in Flyweight, Bantamweight, and Featherweight classes.

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