After UFC 214, Dana White, the promotion’s president, was asked if the UFC would consider adding more weight classes to their promotion. White gave the reporters a simple, one word answer, No. For years, White has been hesitant about adding new divisions to the UFC, even though there is no evidence that adding new divisions will affect the sports betting odds.
While White is adamantly against adding new divisions, he might soon change his mind like he did when he once said women will never fight in the UFC, Kimbo Slice would never fight in the UFC, and he when he said he wouldn’t open up a new weight class for the female fighters in the UFC.
The reason White will likely change his mind is the fact that the sport is constantly evolving and his promotion will eventually have to evolve as well in time.
A few days before UFC 214, the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports, which oversees the North American commissions, announced the approval of four new weight classes. 165, 175, 195, and 225 pounds.
Even though the weight classes were approved, the UFC isn’t under obligation to have the divisions in their promotion because there are other existing divisions the UFC doesn’t use at the moment.
However, the company might change its stance in the future because there are a lot of fighters that currently don’t fight in their weight class because it doesn’t exist in the UFC. These fighters are forced to fight in weight classes they shouldn’t be fighting in, which can either be an advantage or disadvantage because they are either going to be fighting bigger fighters or smaller fighters.
Another reason the UFC will likely change its tune is if other MMA promotions adopt the new weight classes. If they do and a lot of fighters end up being in those divisions, the UFC will eventually try to poach the fighters, but they will be reluctant to sign with the promotion if they don’t have their weight classes.
The biggest reason I think the UFC will eventually adopt the new weight classes is because of weight cutting. Any fighter that has had to cut weight before a fight will tell you how physically and mentally draining it is to do so.
Because the UFC and other MMA promotions don’t have their weight class, some of these fighters have to cut 20 or 30 pounds very quickly, which is very dangerous to their health. With the new weight classes, fighters will likely still have to cut weight, but it won’t be as much and it will be less dangerous.
Hunter Campbell, the general counsel for the UFC, said that when Dana White and the Fertittas brothers took over the UFC, they didn’t want to have an excess of weight classes like they do in boxing because they feared it might confuse the fans.
Now that fighters seem to be on board with the new weight classes, the UFC and other MMA promotions will have no choice but to accept it as their new reality. In fact, it will be better for the company to do so quickly because it will help reduce the logjams they have in some weight classes and provide much better matchups.