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Guide to MMA Weight Classes (Part 2 of 2)

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If you haven’t read the first part of this series you can check it out here: MMA Weight Classes (Part 1 of 2)

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In part one of our beginners guide to MMA weight classes, we looked at the four heaviest divisions in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, and welterweight divisions have their share of big, fast, and exciting stars that fans flock to see. The final four weight classes in the UFC feature competitors that are even faster and for the most part, more exciting. What are the final four weight classes in the UFC and who heads them?

Lightweight– As much as 155 lbs.

lightweight-ufc-top-3The lightweight division in the UFC has always been fun to watch. From the days of Sean Sherk to the current days with fighters like Benson Henderson, Gilbert Melendez, Donald Cerrone, and Nate Diaz, this class has always been a fan favorite. Henderson is the current champion and has gone 6-0 in the UFC since losing the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) lightweight title to Anthony Pettis in the final fight of that promotion’s history. Henderson is set to defend the title against former Strikeforce champion Melendez at UFC on Fox 7.

Featherweight– As much as 145 lbs.

featherweight-ufc-top-3Jose Aldo is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport today and has been one of the most amazing to watch since appearing in WEC. The Brazilian fighter has gone unbeaten since a 2005 loss to Luciano Azevedo in a lightweight fight. He has earned victories against some of the most respected fighters in the MMA weight class including Jonathan Brookins, Cub Swanson, Urijah Faber, Mike Brown, Mark Hominick, Kenny Florian, Chad Mendes, and Frankie Edgar. Since being award the UFC featherweight title when the UFC absorbed the WEC contracts, he has gone 4-0 and is set to face Pettis next in a fight that could lead to a title shot in the UFC lightweight division with a win.

Bantamweight– As much as 135 lbs.

bantamweight-ufc-top-3Bantamweight is one of the smaller MMA weight classes and is home to a slew of fast, agile, and exciting fighters. The reigning champion Dominick Cruz is currently on the shelf due to injury, allowing Brazilian Renan Barao to reign as the interim champion. Cruz was awarded the bantamweight strap in the UFC after the division was formed in the promotion and has made two defenses (Faber and Demetrious Johnson) before being injured. Barao defeated Faber to win the interim title and has made one successful defense, submitting Michael McDonald in February. He will defend the interim title against Eddie Wineland at UFC 161.

Flyweight– As much as 125 lbs.

flyweight-ufc-top-3The flyweight is the newest division to enter the UFC. When the weight class was announced, a four-fighter tournament was announced with it. The finals were between Joseph Benavidez and Johnson. In what some called an upset, “Mighty Mouse” pull off the victory via split decision to become the champion. He has since made one defense, knocking off The Ultimate Fighter winner, John Dodson.

These MMA weight classes bring excitement that some of the heavier weight classes can’t bring. Heavyweight fights can often turn into boring stand-up fights with each fighter looking as though they were swatting a bug away. On the contrary, watching someone like Aldo, Cruz, or Johnson run around the Octagon so quickly can leave you in awe.

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