The most entertaining fights are the fair ones, where practice and discipline determine who walks away as the victor. That’s why the UFC separates their fighters by weight class because there’s no fun in seeing a heavyweight throw a featherweight around the octagon. Height and arm length may differ, sure, but weight is the biggest determining factor when you’re trying to pin someone down.
Here we have a short guide to the different weight classes you’ll find within the UFC. Many fans and gamblers choose weight divisions to pay specific attention to, so they can easily follow the fighters and events taking place with those groups. If you’re betting on the MMA action, knowing how weight divisions work can inform your wagers.
The strawweight class is unique to the female fighters of the UFC. It’s the lightest weight class that carries no minimum weight requirement and a maximum weight requirement of 115 pounds, or 52.2 kilograms. Notable UFC fighters include Rose Namajunas, Weili Zhang, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and Mackenzie Dern.
Flyweight is the first weight class that applies to both male and female UFC fighting. Starting at the minimum weight requirement of 115 pounds (52.2 kilograms), flyweight fighters can weigh up to 125 pounds (56.7 kilograms). Notable flyweight fighters are Brandon Moreno, Valentina Shevchenko, Askar Askarov, Deiveson Figueiredo, and Jessica Andrade.
Historically, it’s not uncommon for fighters to lose weight and compete in lower-weight classes. This is what Demetrious Johnson, who started as a bantamweight fighter, did when he became UFC’s flyweight champion after fitting the weight requirements and is considered one of the best flyweight fighters.
Bantamweight is the next weight division, in ascending order. Like the flyweight class, it exists for both sexes and concerns fighters who are between 125 and 135 pounds, or 56.7 and 61.2 kilograms. Current notable bantamweight fighters include Aljamain Sterling, Petr Yan, Cory Sandhagen, and current women’s bantamweight champion Amanda Nunes.
The next weight class is featherweight. This is the highest weight class for female fighters and concerns the weight limits between 135 pounds and 145 pounds, or 61.2 and 65.8 kilograms. Notable fighters include champion Alexander Volkanovski, Max Holloway, and Brian Ortega. Amanda Nunes is also the current women’s featherweight division champion too, holding both the bantamweight and featherweight titles. Cris Cyborg and Felicia Spencer are other notable featherweight fighters.
The lightweight weight division is the first weight class where only males qualify. It covers fighters who are heavier than 145 pounds, or 65.8 kilograms, but lighter than 155 pounds, or 70.3 kilograms. Notable fighters in UFC’s lightweight division are Dustin Poirier, Charles Oliveira, Conor McGregor, Justin Gaethje, and Tony Ferguson. Historically, B.J. Penn and Khabib Nurmagomedov won champion titles in this weight class.
Following from the lightweight division, welterweights start at 155 pounds or 70.3 kilograms and finish at 170 pounds or 77.1 kilograms. Important figures in the welterweight UFC division include Kamaru Usman, Colby Covington, Nate Diaz, Matt Brown, and Donald Cerrone.
Middleweight UFC fighters start at 170 pounds and can weigh as much as 185 pounds (77.1 to 83.9 kilograms). As we move into the heavier-weight divisions of the UFC, we’re going to see some of the more famous names in the UFC. Famous middleweight fighters include Israel Adesanya, Nick Diaz, Uriah Hall, and Robert Whittaker, along with Anderson Silva, Chris Weidman, and Michael Bisping.
Spanning the 185 to 205-pound range (83.9 to 93 kilograms), the light heavyweight division is supported by fighters like Jan Blachowicz, Glover Teixeira, Dominick Reyes, and former champion Jon Jones.
Lastly, we have the heaviest weight division used for UFC MMA fighting. That’d be the heavyweight class that ranges from 205 to 265 pounds, or 93 to 120 kilograms. Famous heavyweights include Francis Ngannou, Stipe Miocic, Derrick Lewis, and historically Daniel Cormier, Randy Couture, and Brock Lesnar.