MMA Weight Classes

A little bit of History

UFC1: Gordeau vs. Tuli (216.0 lbs vs. 410.0 lbs)

UFC3: Hackney vs. Yarborough (200.0 lbs vs. 616.0 lbs)

During the first 6 events of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the UFC, there was no weight class, allowing extreme fights like in the UFC1 between a sumo of 410.0 lbs and a kickboxer of 216.0 lbs or during the UFC3 between a sumo of 616.0 lbs and a karateka of 200.0 lbs (see the insert for more details).

In these two bouts, the lighter weight fighters has won! Mobility and speed have been the keys to these two victories. When weight is not a handicap, it can be a decisive advantage ...

A bit of Physics

In details:

P = m x 9,81 x V where P is the power (in Watt) , m the mass (in kg) and V the Speed (in m/s)

Physics teaches us that the power developed is proportional to the mass and the speed.

In other words, for a percussion (punch or foot) performed at the same speed by two fighters , the heavier fighter will develop a power more or less proportional to its mass and will consequently do more damage.

MMA Weight Classes

The following weight classes have been introduced in MMA:

ABC, UFC & IFC MMA Weight ClassesCheck out the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) weight classes in the Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC), the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and the Invicta Fighting Championship (IFC) by moving the cursor under illustration.47.627105Atomweight52.163115Strawweight56.699125Flyweight61.235135Bantamweight65.771145Featherweight70.307155Lightweight74.843165Super Lightweight77.111170Welterweight79.379175Super Welterweight83.915185Middleweight88.45195Super Middleweight92.986205Light Heavyweight102.058225Cruiserweight120.202265Heavyweight0Super Heavyweight0ABC, UFC & IFC MMA Weight ClassesKGLBSUFCABC

Weight: lbs

ⓘ Move the slider to browse the weight classes.

Moreover, the fights are not mixed, man-woman. Men compete in men's weight categories and women in women's weight categories.

To the official weight classes, the Invicta Fighting Championship, IFC, has added the Atom Weight category for the female fighters between 96.0 lbs and 105.0 lbs. At the IFC, which only organizes female fights, the highest official weight classes are not represented.

Weight ClassesWeight RangeAllowanceOfficialUFCIFC
Atomweightover 96 to 105 lbs.3 lbs
Strawweightup to and including 115 lbs.3 lbs
Flyweightover 115 to 125 lbs.3 lbs
Bantamweightover 125 to 135 lbs.3 lbs
Featherweightover 135 to 145 lbs.5 lbs
Lightweightover 145 to 155 lbs.5 lbs
Super Lightweightover 155 to 165 lbs.5 lbs
Welterweightover 165 to 170 lbs.5 lbs
Super Welterweightover 170 to 175 lbs.7 lbs
Middleweightover 175 to 185 lbs.7 lbs
Super Middleweightover 185 to 195 lbs.7 lbs
Light Heavyweightover 195 to 205 lbs.7 lbs
Cruiserweightover 205 to 225 lbs.7 lbs
Heavyweightover 225 to 265 lbs.7 lbs
Super Heavyweightover 265 lbs.7 lbs

Exceeding the strict allowance of the category is tolerated except for the fights for the title. Exceeding the allowance can also sometimes be tolerated (see Weight Cutting).

Official Weigh-in

To ensure that fighters respect the weight limits of the class a weigh-in is usually conducted the day before the event, early in the morning. This weighing the day before the event allows the vast majority of fighters gain weight before the fight...


Weight can be a decisive advantage, or at least not to be a disadvantage in a fight, the habit has been taken by the fighters, to lose weight, sometimes enormously, so to fight in a category, far from their weight of form.

Sometimes some fighter make the choice to fight in weight classes very far from their weight of form not to end up in a weight class or the level is very high and have no chance then to shine!

Very few are therefore the fighters who do not make weight cuts before the weighing, including the heavyweight!

The cut of weight or weight cut or cutting, is also called "first fight" because it is very trying and sometimes entails impossibilities medical to fight.

The combatants are sometimes stopped in progress not to put their health at greater risk.

At the UFC 225 Wittaker vs. Romero 2, Yoel Romero who was fighting for the middleweight title, missed the weight on official weight-in, for about 0.2 lbs!

If he had won his fight against Robert Wittaker, he would not win title and belt. See more about this event.

When the fighter can not make the weight, if his weight is beyond the tolerance limit of the category, he may be allowed to fight if its opponent agrees and this one will then receive part of his opponent's bonus, proportional to the overtaking.

For title fights, even if the fighter is allowed to fight, if he wins, he can't claim the title and the belt that goes with it! For a title fight, to claim for the title and the belt in case of victory, the fighters must strictly respect the weight limit of the category, without any tolerance (see insert).

External links

Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports - Official MMA Unified Weight Classes