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« | Home | »

ABC-proposed changes to Unified Rules of MMA

By Zach Arnold | July 4, 2008

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You can download the full document right here.

Take note of the new weight classes:

MEN’S DIVISIONS

Flyweight (Up to 105 pounds)
Super Flyweight (Over 105.1 to 115 lbs)
Bantamweight (Over 115.1 to 125 lbs)
Super Bantamweight (Over 125.1 to 135 lbs)
Featherweight (Over 135.1 to 145 lbs)
Lightweight (Over 145.1 to 155 lbs)
Super Lightweight (Over 155.1 to 165 lbs)
Welterweight (Over 165.1 to 175 lbs)
Super Welterweight (Over 175.1 to 185 lbs)
Middleweight (Over 185.1 to 195 lbs)
Super Middleweight (Over 195.1 to 205 lbs)
Light Heavyweight (Over 205.1 to 225 lbs)
Heavyweight (Over 225.1 to 265 lbs)
Super Heavyweight (Over 265.1 pounds)

WOMEN’S DIVISIONS

Flyweight (95 lbs. and below)
Bantamweight (95.1-105 lbs.)
Featherweight (105.1-115 lbs.)
Lightweight (115.1-125 lbs.)
Welterweight (125.1-135 lbs.)
Middleweight (135.1-145 lbs.)
Light Heavyweight (145.1-155 lbs.)
Cruiserweight (155.1-165 lbs.)
Heavyweight (165.1-185 lbs.)
Super Heavyweight (185.1 and above)

Topics: Media, MMA, Zach Arnold | 37 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

37 Responses to “ABC-proposed changes to Unified Rules of MMA”

  1. ttt says:

    why the heck are there so many!
    the Women’s MW category is interesting that’s a weight that Gina Carano might be able to make

  2. 45 Huddle says:

    Absolutely horrible. No other way to say it.

    225 lbs is a pointless weight class.

    No reason to have so many weight classes between 225 lbs and 175 lbs. We really haven’t seen guys losing fights because of being smaller, so why make the change?

    This is boxing bullcrap that has no purpose in MMA. Very likely that the UFC does not conform to this, and if they don’t, then the big commissions won’t force them. That is where the money flows, and big companies like that tend to make the rules.

    Sadly, BJM was part of this change, which he should be ashamed of.

  3. 45 Huddle says:

    And I’m not even saying the current system is perfect, because it is not, but…

    1. Wrestling & BJJ both stop their weight classes at 125 lbs. This is where the vast majority of talent comes from in MMA. Which means 105 & 115 are pointless.

    2. 165 & 175 are actually a GOOD CHANGE. The difference between 170 and 155 has been an issue for a long time, and this would fix it.

    3. No reason to have 185 & 195. They should be combined into 190.

    4. The 225 lbs weight class is horrible. Never in MMA has it been proven that a 230 lb Heavyweight can’t compete with a 265 lb Heavyweight.

    A better change would have been

    Super Heavyweight: 275+
    Heavyweight: 275 (Could be 265)
    Light Heavyweight: 210 (Could be 205)
    Middleweight: 190
    Welterweight: 175
    Lightweight: 165
    Featherweight: 155
    Bantamweight: 145
    Flyweight: 135
    Strawweight: 125

    And from there, I doubt they would ever have to be changed again, because that covers basically everything that is wrong with the current system. This new garbage is so bad, it would be pointless for any organization to implement it.

  4. pauli says:

    personally, i’d been hoping for

    265
    220
    205
    191
    177
    165
    153
    143
    133
    123
    115
    107

    to cover both men and women.

    the 225/220lb “lazyweight” division is going to have some excellent fights. the *only* downside to it is that it guts the heavyweight division, which is fine by me. fatties.

  5. Brandt says:

    Keep boxing out of MMA. The current classes are just fine with the exception of the addition of maybe two more classes between welterweight and heavyweight.

  6. Rollo the Cat says:

    I would like to hear from McCarthy about this. If this is what he leaves the sport, he is going to be remembered not so fondly.

    I am certain, or certainly hoping, that the UFC just ignores this.

  7. cyph says:

    Since when did MMA become boxing?

    Keep the rules, dump the new weight classes. Weak, weak, weak!

  8. MickDawg says:

    The weight classes make sense.

    Why the fuck would u all complain about 105, 115?

    Most promotions don’t have those weight classes anyways…it’s irrelevant.

    It is there for fairness.

    For the UFC’s sake, it went from 5-8.

    What I don’t like is promotions making a 160 lb weight class just for certain fighters.

    You guys are blindly hating because there’s more weight classes.

    For the future of the sport, where athletes are equally skilled, the 15, 20 lb gaps are too big.

    If the UFC implements this…2 years from now, it will be business as usual.

  9. 45 Huddle says:

    The point of weight classes… You have two groups of fighters of equal skill. Due to size alone, the bigger fighters win more of the fights. This forces weight classes. This is the only reason for weight classes.

    Now, a 225 lbs weight limimt would basically take 235 to 240 lbs and with them cutting weight, they would have their own class. Yet, the majority of these fighters typically beat up on the 265 lbers. Making the 225 pound weight class literally worthless. It is dividing a talent pool that does not need dividing.

    As for 185 & 195 lbs. When is the last time you have seen a Middleweight fight and noticed a fighter winning due to size alone? It basically is never happening. So what’s the point of dividing the weight class? And the smaller LHW’s like Rua & Silva, could probably make Middleweight anyways if they weren’t so busy trying to bulk up.

    I’m not blindly hating because their are more weight classes. Heck, under my recommendation they should be adding one more weight class. It is the fact that where they are putting them is utterly useless and pointless. if anything, it just hurts the sport, doesn’t make it better.

    Not to mention that having Super MW and Super WW Champions has a horrible ring to it, and will only hurt its fan base. That reeks of boxing. This sport does not need that.

    I’m so glad Zuffa basically runs this sport. Because if it was up to some of the fans, it would be out of control already. The ideas I have seen posted here and on other message board are horrible. I kind of expect more out of a hardcore fanbase.

  10. MickDawg says:

    I, myself, don’t agree with the 225 limit, but I’m not going to shit on dividing 170 to 165 & 175, plus adding a 195 for the smaller LHW’s.

    It’s the next step.

    5 lbs would be boxing like.

    10 lbs is somewhere in between.

    They could’ve also used better names than “Super WW” and “Super MW” but that’s not something to bitch about.

    I’m very interested in what the fighters think about this.

    We’re always about “fighter safety, protect the fighters”, “they should pay the fighters more”…etc.

    Look at it from a fighter’s perspective.

    IMO, I think they’d like it.

    They get a better chance at a title. They can fight at a weight comfortable to them.

    Going from 5 to 8 UFC champions don’t seem like a big deal to me.

  11. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    So many weight classes hurts the sport as a competitive draw. Over 205 was already threadbare, and now you have three titles over 205. Why?

    Who is going to fight in all these weight classes?

    It seems like this is a deliberate attempt to water down the weight classes that are already regarded as strong, particularly in UFC.

    It doesn’t affect other promotions as much because for the most part they don’t have any strong weight classes. This is like, WAMMA class rulemaking here.

  12. Jose says:

    In the immortal words of Mike Tyson…

    “This is LUDACRISP!”

  13. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    My speculation would be that Zuffa is going to drop the new lightweight division out of UFC, have their lightweight contenders fight at superlightweight (or drop to WEC if they can’t compete at that weight) and drop their Heavyweight title and tell everyone to cut down to 220. Then you’ve only got one additional title to worry about.

    It does create a couple interesting spots here though, because you have a more natural weight class for Penn vs St Pierre, and a more competitive (potentially) class for Silva, Henderson, Franklin, and the former light heavyweights that they would have competed against if they moved up.

    Just strange stuff.

    And how does this effect EliteXC’s bizarro classes?

  14. Kev says:

    Knees to the head are still banned in the proposal. I wonder what influence does Big John really have.

  15. Rollo the Cat says:

    Jeremy ( not that Jeremy),

    The UFC is isn’t going to change a thing and they won’t be required to.

  16. The Citizen says:

    LOL, lets go mainstream!

  17. Kaiser Baz says:

    Does this not just weaken the depth of all weightclasses? MMA is not at the level of a sport where you could come up with a legitimate top 10 contenders in each of these weight classes. This could mean champions fighting lines of unqualified contenders, and that aint gonna help the sport grow.

    It also makes the impact of someone winning a title in two different weight classes much weaker and makes it seem less of an achievement.

    I don’t think this is something that anyone has been hankering for, as Kev said knees to the head would be a much greater improvement rather than this dilution of talent.

  18. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Rollo,

    Presuming that California and Nevada actually decide to just ignore it (as they seem to be doing, at least until it rolls out everywhere else), then yeah, UFC isn’t going to have to change anything.

    Given that EliteXC has their own pet weight classes, that probably also improves your point.

    It’s certainly got some shock value to think about what might happen though. This is complete balderdash.

  19. IceMuncher says:

    The weightclasses are pretty good as is. Maybe you could squeeze another class between 155 and 205 and readjust the numbers to make it scale nicely (155, 165, 175 and 190 that 45 huddle suggested sounds good), but I think if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and right now it ain’t broke.

    What I want to know is why the heck is ABC stepping in and acting like they run MMA? It’s the same crap WAMMA is trying to pull off: become relevant in the sport by pretending that you’re officially in charge and hope enough people buy into it.

    The only “unified rules” are the ones that the Athlethic Commissions and Zuffa agree on. The ACs because they are the sanctioning body that oversees the sport, and Zuffa because they *are* the sport.

  20. Nate says:

    I thought this had to be a joke, but it looks like someone, somewhere really thinks this is a good idea. I sincerely hope that this proposal is not adopted by anyone, because it would have a significant negative impact on MMA in the U.S. Five weight classes from 145 up is fine; we don’t need anymore.

  21. 45 Huddle says:

    BJM has an interview on Sherdog right now about the changes. He comes across kind of clueless on the weight classes.

    He cited single examples as reasoning to change the entire weight class structure. He had no hard evidence that showed their were large trends of unfairness due to size alone. Really expected more from this guy. If they are going to change a weight class, I want to see lists of examples of how the current structure is failing. And that just was never produced.

    It was more like: “Well, Alves couldn’t make weight once, lets get more weight classes.”

    Just clueless people in charge.

  22. Rollo the Cat says:

    I was never a big BJM fan as a ref and as anything else. People have given this guy way too much respect. Hopefully they will start to realize there isn’t much to him beyond the snappy line, “let’s get it on”.

  23. D.Capitated says:

    What I want to know is why the heck is ABC stepping in and acting like they run MMA? It’s the same crap WAMMA is trying to pull off: become relevant in the sport by pretending that you’re officially in charge and hope enough people buy into it.

    Do you get what the ABC stands for? Do you understand that it is not a sanctioning body?

    As for the RADICAL CHANGES~!, god, have any of you people watched MMA in this country that wasn’t UFC/Elite XC or a boxing match? Catchweight fights happen everywhere. That’s all a class like 170 would be now, except the UFC would, as an independent sanctioning body, have a title at stake, just like sanctioning bodies in years past would institute changes to weight classes/add weight classes in boxing even if they weren’t yet considered an “official” weight class (see also: 200lb limit for cruisers, the institution of the cruiserweight division, the institution of the super middleweight division, etc).

  24. Jeremy says:

    Way too many weight classes. This would weaken the classes too much.

    I could see adding one weight class and making each class a few pounds less, but this is overboard.145-156, 156-168, 168-181, 181-194, 194-210, 210-265.

    That would add one weight class and do little damage to the HW division.

    All of this is moot unless the NSAC, NJSAC and CSAC all agree to adopt these rules and I don’t see it happening. It would kill the HW division dead.

  25. Zach Arnold says:

    All of this is moot unless the NSAC, NJSAC and CSAC all agree to adopt these rules and I don’t see it happening. It would kill the HW division dead.

    Considering that Nick Lembo of the NJSAC is there in Montreal… I’d say there’s a good shot that these changes are coming.

  26. MickDawg says:

    Quote:
    Jeremy (not that Jeremy) Says:

    Rollo,

    Presuming that California and Nevada actually decide to just ignore it (as they seem to be doing, at least until it rolls out everywhere else), then yeah, UFC isn’t going to have to change anything.

    ———————————–

    Why would California ignore this?

    ARMANDO GARCIA’S name is first on the list of “Prepared and submitted by” on the document.

    Did you actually look at the document?

    Keith Kizer couldn’t make it due to the Jackson vs Griffin event, or else he would’ve been there.

    I’m sure they discussed some of this with fighters and I’m sure they have spoken about these rules to the UFC.

    I doubt they would make any changes without first consulting with the biggest MMA organization in the world.

  27. Jeremy says:

    I don’t see adding a class or two is bad, but the HW division would be, as I said, destroyed.

    Couture, Vera, Werdum, Mirko, Sanchez, McCully,Fedor, Moson, Rizzo…all of these guys would likely end up in the new Light Heavyweight.

    I could see making the LHW divsion go up to 210, but 220 is too far. We will have guys like Kongo cutting from 240 to make 220.

    If they think this will eliminate weight cutting, they are deluding themselves.

  28. Rollo the Cat says:

    Kizer was already interviewed about this and he didn’t sound very enthusiastic. He said NV had no intention of adopting these changes, at least for a year or so.

  29. MickDawg says:

    Yeah, Kizer wasn’t enthusiastic about the 225 weight class.

    He just needs more answers. Doesn’t mean he won’t be doing it.

    Quote: “The NSAC typically reviews rules on an annual basis, with the next assessment expected next year.”

    Like I said earlier, I don’t like the 225 either. It’s going overboard, but I have no problem with the others.

    Gives these guys more chances to make more money.

  30. 45 Huddle says:

    It’s very easy to see why Zuffa will have nothing to do with the new weight classes.

    Quinton Jackson is now the World Super Middleweight Champion

    Anderson Silva is now the World Super Welterweight Champion

    Say each of those out loud 5 times. Laugh a little, and then understand how much of a joke this is.

  31. Rollo the Cat says:

    “Gives these guys more chances to make more money.”

    So that’s it? What about the sport? What about the joke this makes out of MMA titles? What about the fans? Sorry, but the new weight classes are not good for the sport and neither are some of the other new rules. The fighters can still make plenty money without me wishing bad things on MMA.

  32. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Mick, yeah, I read the document.

    Just because someone’s name is on it doesn’t mean that they intend to actually implement the rules.

  33. MickDawg says:

    Mick, yeah, I read the document.

    Just because someone’s name is on it

    doesn’t mean that they intend to actually implement the rules.

    —————————————

    I think you’re grasping.

    If someone’s name is on it as the preparer…that means they plan to do it.

    In the off chance that they do not implement it, means they are a hypocrite and they lose their credibility.

    What was so hard about saying no during the voting process?

    I’m sure they received feedback from a lot of people about these rule changes. The consensus is that it’s a good thing. Please stop assuming the commissions are dumbasses that don’t know what is good for the sport.

    —————————————

    Rollo the Cat Says:

    “Gives these guys more chances to make more money.”

    So that’s it? What about the sport? What about the joke this makes out of MMA titles? What about the fans? Sorry, but the new weight classes are not good for the sport and neither are some of the other new rules. The fighters can still make plenty money without me wishing bad things on MMA.

    —————————————

    What about the fans?

    You’re telling me fights won’t be as exciting because there’s more weight classes?

    If anything, there’s a weight class in between where we can see the fighters perform better. Wanderlei might’ve made 185, but for sure he could make 195 and fight more comfortably. A Silva vs Silva match at 195. Sign me up! Penn vs Diego at 165? Cool.

    Everybody knows that no matter what, the hardcore fans will watch.
    They will accept the weight classes cuz we just want to see fights.

    And the casual fan? They care about the matchup. This opens up a lot of possibilities. How else can Tito vs Shamrock draw good ratings three times?

    Basically, you’re just assuming this isn’t good for the sport.

    Names of the divisions (you’ll get used to it)

    Watered down championships (they’ll be worthy title holders) How about Wanderlei at 195? Or Diego Sanchez at 165?

    The sport will proceed as normal…and the matchups will be more even.

    I don’t have any evidence that this would help or hurt the sport itself in any way, but neither do you.

    It’s all assumptions…and I assume the sport will proceed as normal. Give me the matchups I want, and I believe this sport will grow just as it has been doing for the past 3+ years.

  34. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Mick, my understanding is that although his name was on the document, the California commission did not attend the meetings.

    Draw your own conclusions.

  35. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    Being a member of a committee does not mean that you approve of everything that is in a document that comes out of that committee. That’s kind of the nature of the beast.

  36. IceMuncher says:

    “Do you get what the ABC stands for? Do you understand that it is not a sanctioning body?”

    Yes. I also know what the B stands for, which is why I was wondering why the heck they’ve put it on themselves to create “unified” MMA rules without the presence of the UFC, which makes up over 90% of the sport, and without the presence of the major athletic commissions like the NSAC. Let me ask you this, what level of involvement in MMA has the ABC had before this?

  37. D. Capitated says:

    The reason why its a grouping of boxing commissions is because in virtually every state MMA is in, it is under the guise of a boxing commssion. That is the purpose of the CSAC, the NJSAC, the NSAC, and so on, all of whom are members. They are boxing commissions. That is why they are there.Asking why a organization that has “boxing” in the name would be involved when everyone you’re talking about is BOXING COMMISSION is idiocy. That the NSAC wasn’t there isn’t because they don’t respect it but because they were busy this weekend, and remain a member.

    The prior unified rules set had been brought to them years ago, and the purpose of the ABC is to create or suggest unified rules sets for all state and indian commissions in the US/US Territories. This is so cut and dry, I am not sure what the confusion is about.

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