The current situation: - Even though awareness of this issue has been increased within the last two years, there is still a dangerously great amount of weight cutting practised by most of the UFC roster. Especially the lower half of the weight classes regularly sees fighters deplete their bodies just hours before they are supposed to be at their athletic best. - 15 pound increments are very big steps. Famously Rich Franklin struggled between 185 and 205 pounds. Nowadays Kelvin Gastelum is a perfect example of a fighter struggling with 170 pounds while being somewhat undersized for 185. - The 125 pound weight class lacks and has always lacked quality contenders. There's the top 6-8, and then there's nothing. =============== The solution: Weight classes are necessary. There is no way around them, as fighters would always look for the competitive advantage over their opponents, no matter how the weigh-in procedures would be structured. What we need are more weight classes. This immediately leads to more championship fights and more superfights. PPV's with two title fights would start to become the norm. You might also see the occassional title fight on free TV. =============== What should those weight classes be? Male: 130 pounds (59 kg) - Flyweight (Mighty Mouse Land) 140 pounds (63.5 kg) - Bantamweight (Cruz vs. Frankie!) 150 pounds (68 kg) - Featherweight 160 pounds (72.5 kg) - Lightweight 170 pounds (77 kg) - Welterweight 180 pounds (81.5 kg) - Middleweight (Kelvin's new home) 190 pounds (86 kg) - Cruiserweight (Franklinweight) 205 pounds (93 kg) - Light Heavyweight 225 pounds (102 kg) - Heavyweight 265 pounds (120 kg) - Super Heavyweight Female: 115 pounds (52 kg) - Strawweight (Queen Joanna) 130 pounds (59 kg) - Flyweight (Queen Shevchenko) 140 pounds (63.5 kg) - Bantamweight (Queen Holly) =============== The reasoning: First of all, ten (weight classes and increments) sounds like a nice, round number. Increments of 10 pounds are maintained up to Cruiserweight (190 pounds). This is achieved through a slight increase of the lightest weight class and the addition of one new weight class. More fighters will now find a natural home for themselves (think Kelvin Gastelum at 180 or Chad Mendes at 140) and super fights will become considerably easier to pull off with the middle point being much more achievable for both champions. Becoming a multiple weight champion is now equally more achievable A positive snowball effect is to be expected: The more homogenous divisions start to look with regards to size the less incentive is there for fighters to starve themselves to avoid being the smaller contestant. Increasing the weight limit on flyweight should lead to more contenders in that division. While Demetrious Johnson certainly doesnt seem to struggle with the weight, he's also proven to be excellent at bantamweight. People like Henry Cejudo or Tim Elliott however are clearly struggling with 125 and would be far better suited by 130. At the higher end of the spectrum, the gap that today exists between middleweight (185) and light heavyweight (205) is far too big with 20 pounds. This leads to fighters that are either extremely depleted at middleweight or that are very undersized at light heavyweight. Superfights are almost inconceivable: Even Anderson Silva, one of the three greatest fighters of all time, was very tentative about going up in weight. The weight classes 190-205-225 with 15 pound increments allow greater vertical mobility. 15 pound increments are justified here as they are relatively less impactful compared to total body weight than at the lower end of the weight classes (15 pounds are slightly less than 7.5% for a 205 pounder, just as 10 pounds are slightly more than 7.5% of total bodyweight for a 130 pounder). With regards to female weight classes a lower weight limit at the lowest end is warranted by females in general being lighter and there thus being a sufficient number of competitors that would be lost having to deal with even bigger contenders. Think former atomweights like Michelle Waterson having to go up against former bantamweights at 120 pounds. So Strawweight remains at 115. On the other end however, 145 pounds is clearly not warranted: There is one good fighter on this planet that cant get lower than 145, and she's a repeated cheater. Under no circumstances should a weight class be built around her. An adjustment of 5 pounds upwards does however make life easier for big girls like Holly or Germaine. Fighters like Valentina Shevchenko or Ronda now have two divisions open to them and the option of going for a two-weight championship. Also: superfights. Finally, I'd very much enjoy the chaos that would ensue if the current divisions were dissolved. Imagine half a dozend superfights between former champions to figure out the new champion (Johnson vs. Cruz for 130; Cruz vs. Aldo for 140; Aldo vs. McGregor II for 150; etc.). =============== What say you? Do you agree with the idea? What weight classes should there be in your opinion? And who would you see profit most from such a restructuring? I say Kelvin would be 180 pound champ in 2017. =============== Let's figure out the perfect structure and start to push for it for 2018!