Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
Logo of The Spectrum
Sunday, March 03, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

The UFC needs to add range to its women’s weight divisions

Not all female athletes weigh less than 145 pounds, the UFC should reflect that

I love watching Saturday night fights.

It started as an attempt to take interest in my boyfriend’s hobbies, but it’s quickly become something I care about.

A few months ago, I asked my boyfriend who he enjoys watching the most. He said that his favorite fighters tend to be the heavyweight ones, including, ironically enough, Jon Jones

He told me he enjoys these matches because of the size and brute strength of the fighters, even though they move a bit slower than fighters in the lower weight categories. 

I asked who the women’s Heavyweight Champion is, and he said that there isn’t one. 

I had assumed he meant that the spot was vacant, but there isn’t a women’s Heavyweight Division at all. 

The UFC has a total of eight different weight classes for their male fighters: Flyweight Division (125 pounds or under), Bantamweight Division (135 pounds), Featherweight Division (145 pounds), Lightweight Division (155 pounds), Welterweight Division (170 pounds), Middleweight Division (185 pounds), Light Heavyweight Division (205 pounds), Heavyweight Division (265 pounds).

Women only have four: Strawweight Division (115 pounds or under), Flyweight Division (125 pounds), Bantamweight (135 pounds) and Featherweight (145 pounds).

The most a woman can weigh, if she wants to compete for a title in the UFC, is 145 pounds. 

Most fighters, not just the women, practice a strict diet and exercise before each match to ensure that they remain eligible.

The majority, if not all of these athletes, don’t maintain the weight that they are when they enter the octagon during their everyday lives. 

If the average woman in America weighs more than 145 pounds, why does the UFC cap its classes at such a low weight? 

I understand that these athletes are in prime shape and shouldn’t be compared to the average population. But not all women athletes weigh less than the maximum UFC weight division.

The popular opinion about this discourse on Reddit seems to be that if the UFC added higher fighting divisions for women, then there wouldn’t be any talent to compete at those weights.

‘The women who are heavier likely aren’t training.’

But Olympic Judo matches have weight classes for women that go up to 171 pounds. 

If the UFC added heavier women’s categories, new athletes would be eligible to fight, and veteran athletes wouldn’t have to live off liquid diets in order to participate.

The UFC needs to add more weight divisions, not only to bring more talent to the league, but also to make the sport more sustainable and competitive.

Kayla Estrada is the opinion editor and can be reached at  

IMG_5050 (2).jpg

Kayla Estrada is the opinion editor at The Spectrum. She is an English major who enjoys rainy weather, “Bob’s Burgers” and asking people who they voted for. When she’s not writing, she can be found hunting for odd-looking knick-knacks at the nearest thrift store.  



Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2024 The Spectrum