UFC Divisions Explained


UFC Divisions Explained at YouWager

The UFC uses weight classes and divisions that differ from boxing, wrestling, and other combat sports. It can be difficult to keep track of, especially with both men and women competing in this famed mixed-martial-arts league. Some of the titles are vacant at any given moment, and fighters often move between UFC weight classes, making it even harder to understand.

Here’s everything you need to know about UFC divisions and weight classes.

History of UFC Divisions

MMA weight classes weren’t initially required, because the competitions weren’t legally sanctioned by state fighting commissions. The first UFC events were what’s called a Catchweight tournament, where fighters of all sizes and disciplines were fighting each other. Nobody knew what to expect, but the first UFC fight ever set the stage for what to come.

At 6’5” tall and weighing 217 pounds, Dutch Savate expert Gerard Gordeau squared off against 415-pound sumo wrestling expert Teila Tuli. This 198-pound weight difference remains one of the biggest weight gaps in sports. In fact, 200 pounds would become the interim weight limit at UFC 12, with fighters divided evenly at that line.

By 2005, states across the country started officially recognizing MMA and UFC as legitimate combat sports, integrating everything into one streamlined system of divisions.

Modern UFC Weight Classes

The Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts designates fourteen different weight classes, four of which were added in the summer of 2017. The divisions are as follows:


Strawweight fighters weigh up to 115 pounds. There are both men and women divisions in this weight class.


Flyweight fighters weigh between 115 and 125 pounds. There are both men and women divisions in this weight class.


Bantamweight fighters weigh between 125 and 135 pounds. There are both men and women divisions in this weight class.


Featherweight fighters weigh between 135 and 145 pounds. There are both men and women divisions in this weight class.


Lightweight fighters weigh between 145 and 155 pounds.

Super Lightweight

Super Lightweight fighters weigh between 155 and 165 pounds.


Welterweight fighters weigh between 165 and 170 pounds.

Super Welterweight

Super Welterweight fighters weigh between 170 and 175 pounds.


Middleweight fighters weigh between 175 and 185 pounds.

Super Middleweight

Super Middleweight fighters weigh between 185 and 195 pounds.


Super Middleweight fighters weigh between 185 and 195 pounds.

How UFC Weigh-ins Work

Fighters are both weighed the day before and the day of the fight. It happens once during in the morning and once the evening as the fight card is starting. It keeps both fighters honest and stops them from cutting weight only to balloon up during the actual fight. You are only allowed a one-pound margin of error to make your division weight.

The first weigh-in is the only one with an actual weight. The second is ceremonial only and acts as a photo op for fans.

That's all you need to know about MMA and UFC divisions and weigh-ins. Enjoy your next fight knowing exactly what you're looking at.


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