It is no secret that the recent departure of former UFC flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson, has left the flyweight division with more questions than answers. With multiple flyweights being released, the question seems to be if the division still has a future in the UFC.
With one weight class possibly on the way out, speculation of the 165 lb weight class being formed has grown. Josh Thompson recently tweeted, “125 weight class is done after @TJDillashaw VS @HenryCejudo from all the @ufc executives I’ve talk to. 165 lb weight class is replacing it.”
It did not take long for MMA star and current UFC fighter, Ben Askren, to call out UFC lightweight champion, Khabib Nurmagomedov, at the 165 lb mark. However, this is where UFC President, Dana White, replied and denied rumors of the 165 lb weight division, by writing, “Not true” underneath Askren’s post on Instagram.
This was not the end of this exchange, both Thompson and Askren took to Twitter, continuing to express their belief in the creation of the 165 lb weight division.
There will always be pros and cons to any move, but for the UFC forming the 165 lb weight division is something that would plausible and effective. The UFC has the most MMA talent in the world, and separating the divisions from 135, 145, 155, 165, and moving the welterweight division from 170 lbs to 175 lbs would keep the pattern at the 10 lb difference marker. The concern seems to stem from the worry that this would dilute the other divisions. On the other hand, would it add more story lines and help the health of the fighters for those that are in between fighters who are too heavy for the 155 lb mark, but too small for the 170 lb division?
Only time will tell, but the UFC is in the position with options, and that is always a good thing. It is a great time to be an MMA fan.
Max Van Auken has been involved the combat sports world in a variety of ways. Whether it was training and competing, to now commentating, writing, and covering the sport of MMA. Max also is the co-host of the Locked Inn Sports Podcast with Max and Dave where they dive further in depth in a variety in MMA topics!