MMA has many different weight classes, and you’re probably here because you want to know which one you belong in and if there is a weight class that would suit them the best. The best way to figure out which weight class to enter is to look at your current stats and compare them with the requirements for each class.
To find your MMA weight class you will need to take your weight, this is best done from taking your average weight over a month. From that you can see which of the eight categories you will come under.
This article will give you a brief overview of each weight class and how it compares with your own build.
What Are MMA Weight Classes?
In order to reduce the risks of injury to competitors, fighters are separated into different weight classes. The mixed martial arts weight classes are a representation of a fighter’s ideal body weight. Fighters within the same weight class compete for the championship belt.
There are eight weight classes in MMA that represent the appropriate weight to compete without giving an advantage. There are eight different weight classes for women and men, with the lightest being flyweight, the heaviest being heavyweight, and the other six in between.
There is a weight class of super heavyweight which has no upper weight limit, however this is not used very often.
While there are many different weight classes in MMA, the most common weight classes can be broken up into: welterweight, middleweight and light heavyweight.
Men’s MMA Weight Classes
|Men’s Weight Class||Upper Weight Limit In Lbs||Upper Weight Limit In Kg|
Women’s MMA Weight Classes
|Women’s Weight Class||Upper Weight Limit In Lbs||Upper Weight Limit In Kg|
Each MMA Weight Class Explained
Mixed martial arts fighters compete in a variety of weight classes. Most weight classes are standardized with a maximum weight limit, and require that the fighters weigh in before each match. The fighters’ weights are recorded and they cannot exceed the maximum weight for their respective weight class.
The most common weight class is the bantamweight division, which allows competitors to be as light as 118 pounds to as heavy as 135 pounds.
The general premise for MMA weight classes is to provide a fair fight. Fighting in different weight classes means that one fighter will always have an advantage or disadvantage, which is not the objective of the sport. The idea behind different weight classes is to make sure each fighter has an equal opportunity to win.
Here is a bit more detail on each of the weight classes:
Flyweight – The upper weight limit is 125lbs, there is a class below this called strawweight but it is rarely used. The UFC call anything between 116 to 125 lbs a flyweight.
Bantamweight – The upper weight level for this class is 135lbs, so any man with a weight between 126 and 135lbs is in the bantamweight class.
Featherweight – If you fall between 136 and 145lbs you will be in the featherweight class.
Lightweight – The upper limit for the lightweight class is 155lb so anything between 146 and 155lbs is in this class.
Welterweight – This weight class is set between 156 and 170lbs.
Middleweight – This division is set for MMA fighters weighing between 171 and 185lbs.
Light Heavyweight – The upper limit for this class is 205lbs so anything between 186 and 205lbs is in this division.
Heavyweight – In MMA the heavyweight upper limit is 265lbs so any weights between 206 and 265lbs are in this class.
Super Heavyweight – There is no upper limit for the super heavyweight, but it is very rarely used.
How Do I Determine My Weight Class In MMA?
Determining your weight class is really easy – just weigh yourself. MMA fighters tend to be leaner and not carry unnecessary muscle so you don’t want to be bulking to try try and make a weight class.
If you are naturally between two classes try a competition in both classes to see which suits your style the most. The classes which you excel in should be your target class.
What Happens At An MMA Weigh In?
For big competitions like UFC, weigh-ins usually happen the night before the fight. Most fighters who have their weigh in the night before will have been cutting to make weight. If they are slightly over their weight then they will be penalized and possibly lose some of their purse money.
The fighters will step on a scale in front of officials to have their weight recorded. They will have to be within the desired weight for the weight class they are fighting in, and thet is why they put so much effort into ‘making weight’.
Once they have weighed in then they can rehydrate and fuel up for the fight the next day. They will both want to try to be as big as possible for the fight. Because they have been cutting so hard and are dehydrated, they can put on as much as 10lbs by the next day.
However, most amateur MMA fights will have the weigh in on the day of the fight, which is fairer all round. The reason UFC does it the night before is to make an event out of it and cash in.
MMA has different weight classes to help prevent injury and keep the opponents as close to the same physical size as possible. To find out your weight class you will need to know what your natural weight is, for that you take your weight at the same time every day for a month. Take the average of this and that is your natural weight. From that you can work out your MMA weight class from the tables shown.