Heavyweight Champ Stipe Miocic Would Welcome a 225-Pound Weight Class in the UFC
There’s been a lot of debate in recent years about mixed martial arts promotions adding new weight classes.
Part of the argument stems from those who believe that weight cutting would be curbed in some fashion if fighters weren’t asked to move around divisions so dramatically far apart like the 15-pound gap between lightweight and welterweight. Others argue that it’s not fair for certain fighters who aren’t quite big enough for one division yet too big for another that there aren’t more weight classes to choose from.
UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic isn’t the biggest guy in his division but he’s definitely the best as he’s already defended his title on two occasions and he’ll go for No. 3 when he faces Francis Ngannou on Jan. 20 in Boston.
Miocic says he walks around at approximately 240 pounds, which means when he steps into the Octagon with Ngannou he’ll be giving up more than 20 pounds as the ferocious Cameroonian born fighter typically weights north of 260 pounds for his fights.
The heavyweight division is comprised of any fighter weighing between 206 pounds and 265 pounds, which is by far the largest discrepancy between the smallest and largest weights allowed in any weight class in the sport.
Miocic says his team actually discussed at one point the possibility of dropping down to light heavyweight but the weight cut would just be too severe. That’s why he loves the idea of adding a 225-pound division, although he’s certainly not complaining about being the heavyweight champion of the world.
“We thought about it but it would be really tough,” Miocic told Joe Rogan on his podcast when asked about moving to light heavyweight. “If they had a 225 [pound weight] class, all day, I could easily make that. Easy.”
Part of the argument against adding more weight classes would be thinning out certain divisions that are already struggling to find enough talent.
The perfect example would be the UFC’s light heavyweight division, which is extremely top heavy with the top five or six fighters in the world holding onto those spots with an iron grip but the talent drop off between there and the lower half of the division is steep.
Another problem that the UFC has avoided by having fewer weight classes is what boxing has dealt with for years with divisions only separated by a couple of pounds, which makes it nearly impossible for viewers to keep track of champions in any particular division because there are so many.
For his part, Miocic feels like there is a happy middle ground in the sport with new weight classes being added without diluting the talent pool too much while also avoiding the pitfalls of having too many divisions to choose from.
“I mean, I think definitely a few more weight classes, not like every two pounds,” Miocic said before Rogan suggested a new division every 10 pounds. “I think that would be great. I’d be on board for that.”
UFC president Dana White has often shut down the idea of adding new weight classes so it’s tough to say if it will ever happen but there’s at least one current champion on board with the idea.