MMA Weight Classes: Explained

MMA Weight Classes

Mixed martial arts has come a long way during its current four decades in existence. In that time, everything from rules and especially the MMA weight classes have evolved.

MMA weight classes especially have had a rather unique evolution. Each MMA promotion has their own unique set of weight classes, which can be different from other promotions.

That’s why we’ve put together this full explanation of MMA weight classes. Read below to learn the different weight classes that the biggest MMA promotions include within their organizations.

Contents

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Were There Always MMA Weight Classes?

MMA weight classes were not always part of the sport. They came into play a little after the combat sport was first established.

Before MMA weight classes, events were constructed in an open-weight tournament format. Heavyweights often fought lightweights with little to no rules.

Thankfully, the sport evolved and rules, as well as weight classes were gradually implemented.

When Were MMA Weight Classes Added?

The UFC began using weight classes during UFC 12. During that event, the organization simultaneously ran a heavyweight and lightweight tournament.

One tournament for fighters above 200 lbs(90.7 kg) and another tournament for fighters under that weight. 

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Pride FC was also originally an open-weight tournament with no formal MMA weight classes. They started adding  weight divisions in the year 2000 with the middleweight and heavyweight divisions.

UFC Men’s Weight Divisions 

The UFC was the first organization that started adding weight classes. As of now, there are eight official MMA weight classes that are used within the promotion.

Mens UFC Weight Classes

UFC Weight Class (Men)Weight in LbWeight in Kg
Strawweight115 lb52.5 kg
Flyweight125 lb56.7 kg
Bantamweight135 lb61.2 kg
Featherweight145 lb65.8 kg
Lightweight155 lb70.3 kg
Welterweight170 lb77.1 kg
Middleweight185 lb83.9 kg
Light Heavyweight205 lb102.1 kg
Heavyweight265 lb120.2 kg

UFC Women’s Weight Classes 

In 2012, the UFC officially began adding female weight divisions within the organization. As of now, there are currently 3 official women’s UFC weight classes.

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(As of writing this article, the UFC women’s featherweight division is currently not being used and may be disbanded.)

Women’s UFC Weight Classes

UFC Weight Classes (Womens)Weight in LbWeight in Kg
Strawweight115 lb52.5 kg
Flyweight125 lb56.7 kg
Bantamweight135 lb61.2 kg

ONE Championship Men’s Weight Classes

ONE Championship debuted a little over a year ago in the early 2010s. The organization currently uses 10 different MMA weight classes.

ONE Championship Weight Classes

Weight Classes (Mens)Weight in LbWeight in Kg
Heavyweight225-265 lb102-120 kg
Light Heavyweight205-225 lb92-102 kg
Middleweight185-205 lb83-92 kg
Welterweight170-185 lb77-83 kg
Lightweight155-170 lb70-77 kg
Featherweight145-155 lb65-70 kg
Bantamweight135-145 lb61-65 kg
Flyweight125-135 lb56-61 kg
Weight Classes (Women’s)Weight in LbWeight in Kg
Strawweight115-125 lb52-56 kg
Atomweight105-115 lb47-52 kg

Pride FC Weight Classes

Pride FC was one of the greatest MMA promotions in history. In the promotion’s heyday, they used 5 different MMA weight classes.

PRIDE FC Weight Classes

Weight ClassesWeight in LbWeight in Kg
Lightweight161 lb73 kg
Welterweight183 lb83 kg
Middleweight205 lb93 kg
HeavyweightUnlimitedUnlimited
OpenweightNo weight restrictionsNo weight restrictions

PFL/Bellator Weight Classes 

The Professional Fighter’s League(PFL) and Bellator MMA have recently become partners. Between the two promotions, they currently have a total of 9 MMA weight classes.

PFL Weight Classes

Weight ClassesWeight in LbWeight in Kg
Heavyweight265 lb120 kg
Light Heavyweight205 lb93 kg
Welterweight170 lb77 kg
Lightweight155 lb70 kg
Featherweight145 lb66 kg
Women’s Featherweight145 lb66 kg
Bantamweight135 lb61 kg
Women’s Flyweight125 lb57 kg

KSW Weight Classes

The Polish-based MMA promotion KSW has been in operation for twenty years now. In twenty years of business, the promotion currently has nine MMA weight classes. Seven men’s weight divisions and two women’s weight divisions.

KSW Weight Classes

Weight Classes: (Mens)Weight in LbWeight in Kg
Heavyweight 264.6 lb120 kg
Light Heavyweight 205.0 lb93 kg
Middleweight 185.2 lb84 kg
Welterweight169.8 lb77 kg
Lightweight 154.3 lb70 kg
Featherweight 145.5 lb66 kg
Bantamweight134.5 lb61 kg
Weight Classes: (Women’s)Weight in LbWeight in Kg
Flyweight125.7 lb57 kg
Strawweight 114.6 lb52 kg