UFC, short for Ultimate Fighting Championship, is the major competition in MMA. The biggest fighters in the sport are categorised according to their weight and ranked into UFC Weight Divisions.
As for the men’s sport, there are eight UFC Weight Divisions and then there are another four for the UFC women. For each category, there is a champion and they need to fight in order to retain their title.
The Strawweight is the only division in which not both men and women have fights. In fact, it is only women that fight in this UFC Weight Division.
UFC Weight Divisions
|Weight Division||Minimum Weight||Upper Weight Limit|
|Strawweight||None||52.2 kg (115 lbs; 8.2 st)|
|Flyweight||52.2 kg (115 lbs; 8.2 st)||56.7 kg (125 lbs; 8.9 st)|
|Bantamweight||56.7 kg (125 lbs; 8.9 st)||61.2 kg (135 lbs; 9.6 st)|
|Featherweight||61.2 kg (135 lbs; 9.6 st)||65.8 kg (145 lbs; 10.4 st)|
|Lightweight||65.8 kg (145 lbs; 10.4 st)||70.3 kg (155 lbs; 11.1 st)|
|Welterweight||70.3 kg (155 lbs; 11.1 st)||77.1 kg (170 lbs; 12.1 st)|
|Middleweight||77.1 kg (170 lbs; 12.1 st)||83.9 kg (185 lbs; 13.2 st)|
|Light Heavyweight||83.9 kg (185 lbs; 13.2 st)||93.0 kg (205 lbs; 14.6 st)|
|Heavyweight||93.0 kg (205 lbs; 14.6 st)||120.2 kg (265 lbs; 18.9 st)|
Strawweight is the only weight division solely exclusive to the women sport. The division was introduced back in 2013 in occasion of the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter.
The Strawweight title for that year ended with Carla Esparza crowned as champion. However, she only held the title for three moments before Joanna Jędrzejczyk claimed it. Jędrzejczyk held it for 3 years from 2014 to 2017.
Flyweight is the lightest division out of all the men’s divisions. It consists of fighters under 56.7 kg (125 lbs).
The first flyweight title was won by pound-for-pound #1 ranked fighter Demetrious Johnson. He held the title for five long years and defended it on ten separate occasions.
The following weight division is Bantamweight under which fighters between 56.7 kg (125 lbs) and 61.2 kg (135 lbs) fall.
Dominick Cruz is very successful when it comes to the Bantamweight title. He held the title two separate times and successfully defended it three times. At UFC 207 then, he lost the status of Bantamweight champion to Cody Garbrandt.
As for the women’s circuit, Ronda Rousey is the most popular name when it comes to this division. She held the title for three years before she was defeated by Holly Holm at UFC 193 in 2015. At the moment, the champion is Brazilian fighter Amanda Nunes who’s held the title since 2016.
Up next is Featherweight with fighters between 61.2 kg (135 lbs) and 65.8 (145 lbs) kg falling under this category. This class was dominated by Conor McGregor before he also won the Lightweight championship at UFC 205. At the time, he became the first fighter to hold two separate titles at the same time.
Prior to McGregor’s domination, it was Jose Aldo who was successful here holding the title between 2010 and 2014 as well as in 2016.
The Featherweight class for the women’s circuit, introduced in 2017, was first won by Dutch kickboxer Germaine de Randamie.
The maximum weight for the next weight division, Lightweight, is 70.3 kg (155 lbs). Currently, the Lightweight title is in the hands of Khabib Nurmagomedov with Justin Gaethje acting as Interim Champion.
Nurmagomedov famously defeated Conor McGregor in October 2018 on his first Lightweight title defense.
At 70.3 kg (155 lbs) and 77.1 kg (170 lbs), the Welterweight title is currently in the hands of Nigerian fighter Kamaru Usman.
Usman has been champions of this division since March 2019 and until now, he’s defended the title on two occasions.
The Middleweight division is the category for the fighters whose maximum weight is 83.9 kgs (185 lbs).
Anderson Silva has made history when it comes to Middleweight fighting. The time during which the belt was held is a record amount of 2,457 days. He’s had to deal with a total of 10 title defenses during his time as champion.
The Brazilian fighter is widely considered as the greatest MMA fighter of all time.
At the moment, it is another Nigerian fighter Israel Adesanya who holds the Middleweight title.
At 83.9 kgs (185 lbs) to 93.0 kgs (205 lbs), Light Heavyweight is actually the first division for the big boys. Some famous names here include Chuck Liddell, Frank Shamrock, Tito Ortiz and Jon Jones.
Jon Jones is the current holder of this belt and has been so since December 2018. Unfortunately, his great career success has been smudged by a hit-and-run incident and certain performance-enhanced drug-allegations between 2015 and 2017.
To date, Jones has had to defend his title three times but has been successful on all occasions.
Consisting of the biggest fighters in UFC, the Heavyweight division is the highest-ranked on the weight divisions list. At a minimum weight of 93.0 kgs (205 lbs), it makes it the most high-profile of all weight divisions.
The inaugural Heavyweight champion was Mark Coleman, aka the Hammer, who held the title for just 170 days.
The current heavyweight champion is Croatian-American Stipe Miocic who holds the belt since August 2019.