Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a combat sport that has 15 weight classes according to the Unified Rules established in the 2000s. However, the UFC is under no such obligation to incorporate any of them, which is why there are “only” eight weight classes for men and four for women.

In 2013, the firm introduced a Women’s division, one of the numerous weight classes they now offer. Each UFC fighter participates in a certain weight class, where they face off against others of a similar build and stature.

UFC men`s weight class

Weight class Minimum Weight Maximum Weight
Flyweight 115lbs; 52.2kg; 8.2st 125lbs; 56.7kg; 8.9st
Bantamweight 125lbs; 56.7kg; 8.9st 135lbs; 61.2kg; 9.6st
Featherweight 135lbs; 61.2kg; 9.6st 145lbs; 65.8kg; 10.3st
Lightweight 145lbs; 65.8kg; 10.3st 155lbs; 70.3kg; 11st
Welterweight 155lbs; 70.3kg; 11st 170lbs; 77.1kg; 12.1st
Middleweight 170lbs; 77.1kg; 12.1st 185lbs; 83.9kg; 13.2st
Light Heavyweight 185lbs; 83.9kg; 13.2st 205lbs; 93kg; 14.6st
Heavyweight 205lbs; 93kg; 14.6st 265lbs; 120.2kg; 18.9st

If you want to know what weight classes the UFC uses and how they are determined, read on. The UFC uses weight divisions in an effort to level the playing field for competitors of varying sizes.

weight class
JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA – APRIL 09: Alexander Volkanovski of Australia looks on before his UFC featherweight championship fight against Chan Sung Jung of South Korea during the UFC 273 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 09, 2022, in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) features mixed martial arts competition over 12 weight classes or divisions, four of which are devoted exclusively to women.
Is there a certain date when the UFC began introducing new weight divisions?
When UFC 12 took place in Dothan, Alabama in 1997, the organization finally debuted its
weight divisions. At first, there were only two primary categories: Under 200 pounds classifies a combatant as lightweight. Fighters that weigh more than 200 pounds are considered heavyweights. Although not perfect, this paved the way for enormous shifts within a few years.

UFC women`s weight classes

Weight class Minimum Weight Maximum Weight
Strawweight None 115lbs; 52.2kg; 8.2st
Flyweight 115lbs; 52.2kg; 8.2st 125lbs; 56.7kg; 8.9st
Bantamweight 125lbs; 56.7kg; 8.9st 135lbs; 61.2kg; 9.6st
Featherweight 135lbs; 61.2kg; 9.6st 145lbs; 65.8kf; 10.3st


The most significant shift was in 2000 when the UFC began coordinating with Athletic
Commissions around the United States in an effort to standardize the sport. The " Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts" were first proposed by the New Jersey State Athletic Commission.
The most significant modification, among several, was the introduction of 15 new weight
categories. It is worth noting that not all 15 levels will be implemented by the promotions.
Therefore, there are eight male weight divisions and four female weight classes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

However, other departments may be added if necessary. In the early days of the UFC, competitors often faced off against much taller and heavier opponents, making for very hazardous bouts. On the other hand, this was par for the course at the time since UFC events were billed as sanctioned street fights with no weight classes or restrictions. The UFC welcomed athletes of various sizes, from 170 to 500 pounds, to participate under strict guidelines.

weight class
At UFC 3, karate specialist Keith Hackney defeated sumo wrestler Emmanuel Yarbrough,
despite Yarbrough being 200 pounds heavier than Hackney. Royce Gracie is another great example; he is the most prominent person in UFC history.

There was a time when he weighed around 175 pounds, but his opponents were usually at least double his size. It is safe to say that the early days of UFC were very risky, if not downright barbarous. There was a fan base for the sport, but it was unrealistic to expect this to be legalised on a global scale. For this reason, the UFC eliminated the open weight class in 1997 and actively pursued regulatory and rule modifications.

When does a UFC Competitor fail to Make Weight, What Happens?

A fighter cannot win the UFC championship at stake in a given bout if they are disqualified for failing to make weight (even if they win the fight). In addition, a fighter who fails to make weight must forfeit twenty percent of their pay to their rival.

Could a 165-pound weight class be the future of the Ultimate Fighting Championship?
Many people have speculated lately that UFC will add a 165-pound weight division.
One explanation is that there is too huge of a weight gap between lightweight (155 lbs) and
welterweight (170 lbs). Some boxers are too large for the 155-pound limit but not as big as
some of their counterparts in the 170-pound class.

weight class


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