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26th Jul 2017

MMA officially sees the introduction of four new weight classes

Would make sense for more super-fights

Darragh Murphy

More weight divisions mean more super-fights, right?

We should preface this by saying that no MMA promotion has officially introduced any of the four additional four weight classes agreed upon but that move does seem inevitable after the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports officially added four new weight classes to the sport of mixed martial arts.

At a conference on Wednesday in Connecticut, it was decided that no fewer than four new weight divisions would be added to the current classes that exist.

Weight limits of 165lbs, 175lbs, 195lbs and 225lbs will now exist and promoters can add them to their organisation as they see fit.

The addition of super lightweight, super welterweight, super middleweight and cruiserweight divisions had been discussed in the MMA community for several years, with growing concerns over fighters unsafely cutting too much weight prior to competition.

And, on Wednesday, a vocal advocate for safer weight cutting procedures, California State Athletic Commission executive officer Andy Foster, saw one of his recommendations unanimously agreed upon by an ABC vote, officially codifying them in the Unified Rules of MMA.

“Just because cruiserweight now exists doesn’t mean that the UFC or Bellator or anybody else has to put in a cruiserweight division,” said Sean Wheelock, the chairman of the rules and regulations committee, via MMA Fighting. “MMA promotions run their own belts — you can do a title at a 162.2lbs if you want.”

While the vote essentially translates to mere guidelines for promoters, it is on the likes of the UFC, Bellator, Cage Warriors, etc to implement the changes if they care to do so.

But recently, UFC colour commentator Joe Rogan seemed to let slip that the UFC had plans to introduce the very four divisions agreed upon by the ABC on Wednesday.

During an episode of his Fight Companion podcast, Rogan was asked about the change by guest and former UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub and he explained the overhaul.

“Did you see they’re making a 225lbs division?” Schaub asked.

“They are, yeah,” Rogan responded before announcing the new plans.

“They’re also going to do a 10lbs up. They’re going to do 155lbs, 165lbs and 175lbs.”