Friday, March 1, 2013

New weight classes the answer to UFC's talent overage?







The UFC has a problem on its hands.  It’s at least 100 fighters over its limit to function efficiently. Right now, if you are a fighter and you lose, you are in real danger of losing your contract with the UFC.  It’s especially true if you are a lightweight or a welterweight as the number of fighters in those categories is almost astronomical.

There are rumors that the UFC is looking at investing in a 115 pound weight class.  Why bother scouting new talent and then investing in marketing these new fighters to fans when you already have enough fighters under contract that people know?  What is the solution?

2 new weight classes.

I realize that getting one weight class up and running is typically a handful and takes time, but with the options I will spell out, it’ll be off and running before you know it.So what are the weight classes I’m thinking of?

165 lbs and 195 lbs (aka Franklinweight).

Before you start ripping the 165 class apart because it’s too close to welterweight, realize that welterweight is the only weight class that doesn’t end in ‘5’.  The weight classes that the UFC has implemented recently have all been 10 lbs apart from each other which gives some semblance of normalcy to them.  There are 3 large gaps in the weight classes right now.

155-170 (15lbs)
170-185 (15 lbs)
185-205 (20 lbs)

This doesn’t even begin to speak of heavyweight which is a whole other issue. 

My proposal would make it very simple:

125, 135, 145, 155, 165, 175, 185, 195, 205, HWT. 

Why would the UFC want to do this?  They have the talent right now to fill these 2 weight classes up immediately and without scouting.  Currently the UFC has over 70 fighters under contract in both the lightweight and welterweight classes when most weight classes average about 40 (minus Flyweight).  For the new 165 pound class, you could have fighters drop down from the new welterweight class (175) and some coming up from the 155 pound class.  This new class would fill up faster than any other weight class as there is currently over 140 fighters between 155 and 170 pounds.  Assuming only 1/3 of them transition would make it larger than the current flyweight weight class in less than half of the time.

195 pounds would help those who have had a fight with Anderson and lost get a second chance at a championship.  Also some smaller 205 pound fighters could transition down as well.  Combined there are almost 100 fighters in the Middleweight and Light Heavyweight divisions so again we would have a very quick ramp up into the weight class.

While it may be true that the organization can’t function properly with the amount of fighters it currently has under contract, adding 2 classes and tweaking welterweight weight limit would give some room to breathe as well as an opportunity to have more champions for when the occasional champion is injured.

Will the UFC do this?  Probably not, but aren’t the possibilities fun to think about?  Who would be the 195 pound champ and who would be the 165 pound champ?  Leave your thoughts in the comments below
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