So you want to know when did the UFC first start weight classes and what were those weight classes? Well, the UFC or Ultimate Fighting Championships first began in 1993. And originally there were no predefined weight classes. Rather people of all shapes and sizes stepped into the UFC octagon to compete against one another, regardless of size.
It would not be until 1997 the new UFC weight classes would begin to emerge. And a lightweight class with everything on or under 199 lbs. Alongside a heavyweight division with everything on or over 200 lbs.
Then from 1997 to 2012 the UFC only allowed male fighters competing. With the UFC President Dana White commenting in 2011 that he would never allow women to compete in their promotion. While there were female MMA fighters competing in other promotions the UFC was still holding.
However, this all changed in 2012 with the introduction of the women’s bantamweight division, led by its inaugural champion Rowdy Ronda Rousey. Rousey was the Strikeforce Champion and when the UFC purchased the promotion. Their fighters were absorbed by the UFC, including the women’s bantamweight division.
These weight classes define at what weight fighter, both male and female will compete. With eight of the divisions for male competitors ranging from Flyweight to heavyweight. While for females it’s from strawweight to featherweight.
Despite trying to this date, they have not been able to pool enough good female fighters to build a lightweight division. And as a result, the promotion saw one of it’s biggest fan favourite female fighter Cris Cyborg leave the UFC in 2019. Seeking competitive fights with another promotion.
List Of UFC Weight Divisions
Below is a table consisting of all the current weight classes in the UFC, including both the male and female divisions. Whether or not some are added or taken away at some point in the future has yet to be decided.
|Weight Class||Weight (lbs)|
Who are The Current UFC Champions?
Like most combat sports, outside of the dominant fighters who have won consistently for some years. UFC champions at the top of their respective divisions change quite regularly. So below we will take a look at the weight divisions along with the current reigning champions.
From the women’s flyweight division right up to the big heavyweights. We will take a comprehensive look at all the different classes in the UFC, along with information on the champions and top contenders.
It is very important that there are different weight divisions and different champions of those respective divisions. This allows for one fighter to dominate at that specific weight while allowing other fighters at other weights to compete within their own weight bracket. Creating more opportunities for world championship titles, which can only be a good thing.
Some fighters who are able to cut a lot of weight are able to move between several different weight classes. Allowing them to compete at those alternate weights and possibly become a UFC champion across multiple divisions. This happens quite regularly with some fighters deciding to move up or down a division.
And sometimes resulting in them winning belts in more than one division. To date, only two fighters have held a UFC championship belt in two division simultaneously. And they were Daniel Cormier at light heavyweight and heavyweight. Amanda Nunes at bantamweight and featherweight. Henry Cejudo at flyweight and bantamweight, as well as Conor McGregor at featherweight and lightweight.
The UFC Rankings For 2020 By Weight Class
Below is the list of male UFC fighter in their respective weight classes. We shall begin with the lightest weight classes and continue to the heaviest weight class. Ther are a total of nine divisions, with eight for the men and three for the women. We don’t count the women’s featherweight division as it currently has a champion without any contenders.
UFC women’s Strawweight Division 115 lbs
The UFC women’s strawweight division has the very best female fighters in the world at 115 lb limit. And while it has only existed since it’s inception in 2014. It has quickly become one of the most exciting and enthralling in the UFC. Post Ronda Rousey it was this division and its long-reigning champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk who captured the hearts and minds of MMA fans worldwide.
|Current champion: Weili Zhang|
|1: Jessica Andrade|
|2: Rose Namajunas|
|3: Tatiana Suarez|
|4: Joanna Jedrzejczyk|
|5: Nina Ansaroff|
|6: Claudia Gadelha|
|7: Carla Esparza|
|8: Michelle Waterson|
|9: Marina Rodriguez|
|10: Cynthia Calvillo|
UFC Flyweight Division
The flyweight division is the first of the divisions which have both males and females fighting at the 125 lb weight limit. While the men’s division was dominated by Demetrious Johson for many years. The women’s division may see the same situation, with its current champion looking set to stay at the very top for some time to come.
|Men’s Division||Women’s Division|
|No current champion||Current champion: Valentina Shevchenko|
|Top Contenders:||Top Contenders:|
|1: Deiveson Figueiredo||Jessica Eye|
|2: Joseph Benavidez||Katelyn Chookagian|
|3: Jussier Formiga||Joanne Calderwood|
|4: Alexandre Pantoja||Jennifer Maia|
|5: Brandon Moreno||Roxanne Modafferi|
|6: Askar Askarov||Lauren Murphy|
|7: Kai Kara France||Viviane Araujo|
|8: Rogerio Bontorin||Andrea Lee|
|9: Alex Perez||Maycee Barber|
|10: Matt Schnell||Alexis Davis|
UFC Bantamweight Division 135 lbs
The bantamweight division offers the best male and female fighters at the 135 lb limit in the UFC. And while the men’s division was dominated by former WEC champion Dominick Cruz. In Amanda Nunes, the women’s weight class has a Brazilian fighter who looks set to dominate for some time to come.
|Men’s Division||Women’s Division|
|Current champion: Henry Cejudo||Current champion: Amanda Nunes|
|Top 10 Contenders:||Top 10 Contenders:|
|1: Marlon Moraes||Germaine De Randamie|
|2: Aljamain Sterling||Holly Holm|
|3: Petr Yan||Aspen Ladd|
|4: Cory Sandhagen||Julianna Peña|
|5: Raphael Assuncao||Irene Aldana|
|6: Jose Aldo||Rachel Pennington|
|7: Pedro Munhoz||Ketlen Vieira|
|8: Jimmie Rivera||Yana Kunitskaya|
|9: Cody Garbrandt||Sara McMann|
|10: Rob Font||Marion Reneau|
UFC Featherweight Division 145 lbs
The very best fighter in the Ultimate Fighting Championships at the 145 lb weight limit. Jose Aldo Junior ruled over the weight class in two promotions for almost half a decade. Then Conor McGregor came along and stole the show. Perhaps the current champion will be able to hold the belt going forward to re-establish some long term stability.
|Current champion: Alexander Volkanovski|
|1: Max Holloway|
|2: Brian Ortega|
|3: Zabit Magomedsharipov|
|4: Chan Sung Jung|
|5: Yair Rodriguez|
|6: Frankie Edgar|
|7: Jeremy Stephens|
|8: Josh Emmett|
|9: Calvin Kattar|
|10: Shane Burgos|
UFC Lightweight Division 155 lbs
The listings for the best male fighters at the 155 lb limit in the UFC. And at this moment in time, the undisputed best 155 lb fighter in the world is currently none other than Khabib Nurmagomedov. A stacked division with arguably the best talent in the UFC and the Russian rules over them with an iron fist.
|Current champion: Khabib Nurmagomedov|
|1: Tony Ferguson|
|2: Dustin Poirier|
|3: Conor McGregor|
|4: Justin Gaethje|
|5: Dan Hooker|
|6: Donald Cerrone|
|7: Paul Felder|
|8: Charles Oliveira|
|9: Al Iaquinta|
|10: Kevin Lee|
UFC Welterweight Division 170 lbs
The welterweight division of the UFC was for a long time regarded as the toughest. Dominated by one fighter for many years, the division title has recently moved to a new owner. While it may not dominate the headlines as it did previously. There’s little doubting the sheer quality at 170 lbs and potential matchups in 2020.
|Current Champion: Kamaru Usman|
|1: Tyron Woodley|
|2: Colby Covington|
|3: Jorge Masvidal|
|4: Leon Edwards|
|5: Stephen Thompson|
|6: Gilbert Burns|
|7: Demian Maia|
|8: Michael Chiesa|
|9: Rafael Dos Anjos|
|10: Nate Diaz|
UFC Middleweight Division 185 lbs
The 185 lb division was dominated for many years by a single fighter. More recently is the division’s title has switched hands several times. And the current iteration of a champion looks pretty unbeatable, for now! Come back in the future and this statement may have been updated, repeatedly.
|Current champion: Israel Adesanya|
|1: Robert Whittaker|
|2: Paulo Costa|
|3: Jared Cannonier|
|4: Yoel Romero|
|5: Darren Till|
|6: Jack Hermansson|
|7: Kelvin Gastelum|
|8: Derek Brunson|
|9: Edmen Shahbazyan|
|10: Uriah Hall|
UFC Light Heavyweight Division 205 lbs
The 205 lb division of the UFC was for many years dominated by one fighter, Jon Bones Jones. After a brief stint away from the sport, he returned and quickly regained his title. With fighters lining up to get their shot, will the light heavyweight King hold on to his throne going forward? We shall have to wait and see.
|Current champion: Jon Jones|
|1: Dominick Reyes|
|2: Thiago Santos|
|3: Anthony Smith|
|4: Jan Blachowicz|
|5: Corey Anderson|
|6: Volkan Oezdemir|
|7: Alexander Gustafsson|
|8: Glover Teixeira|
|9: Aleksandar Rakic|
|10: Nikita Krylov|
UFC Heavyweight Division 265 lbs
The UFC’s heavyweight division is home to it’s heaviest fighters, over 205 lbs, but below the 256 lb limit. With some absolute monsters who have to cut weight to make the limit, this division has always been the home of the knockouts. Lots of big dudes with attitudes and one giant sitting at the very top.
|Current champion: Stipe Miocic|
|1: Daniel Cormier|
|2: Francis Ngannou|
|3: Curtis Blaydes|
|4: Junior Dos Santos|
|5: Derrick Lewis|
|6: Jairzinho Rozenstruik|
|7: Alexander Volkov|
|8: Alistair Overeem|
|9: Walt Harris|
|10: Shamil Abdurakhimov|
I hope you enjoyed my take on the UFC weight classes and their current champions. In a sport where things can and do change from week to week. I will keep the list updated when any major changes occur. So keep an eye on the action and I will see you back here again in the not too distant future I hope.