Cormier Advocates for New UFC Division in McGregor vs. Chandler Bout

"Timing is everything in championship opportunities."

A Fresh Vision for UFC’s Weight Classes

Daniel Cormier, the renowned UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion, has put forward a compelling proposal for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) as it gears up for UFC 303: a battle between Conor McGregor and Michael Chandler. Cormier envisions the introduction of a new weight class and title that could redefine the competition landscape.

This suggestion comes at a pivotal moment, with McGregor set to return to the octagon on June 29 during the International Fight Week, marking his first fight in almost three years since his leg injury against Dustin Poirier in July 2021.

The Genesis of Cormier’s Proposal

In his podcast with UFC Hall of Famer Chael Sonnen, Cormier shared his thoughts about capitalizing on McGregor’s much-anticipated comeback by introducing a super lightweight division. “Timing and positioning are everything in championship opportunities,” Cormier reflected on the Good Guy / Bad Guy podcast.

He drew parallels to his own career, highlighting how unforeseen circumstances can pivot an athlete’s trajectory towards title contention. Cormier’s idea revolves around establishing a 165 lbs division, tentatively termed the super lightweight division, shifting the welterweight class to 175 lbs, and making other adjustments to create a more balanced weight class system.


Debating the Potential Impact

While the proposition is intriguing, questions arise about McGregor and Chandler’s suitability for pioneering this new title. Both fighters have seen better days, with each recording three losses in their last four fights. This record casts doubt on their current standing within their respective divisions.

Moreover, the concept of a 165 lbs division has met with skepticism from UFC President Dana White and Sonnen himself. Sonnen’s critique was pointed, highlighting the absence of a 165 lbs class in both UFC’s structure and commission sanctioning. Yet, Cormier’s suggestion has ignited discussions about the need to bridge the significant gap between the lightweight and welterweight divisions.

“This is my thought process,” Daniel Cormier on the Good Guy / Bad Guy podcast.

“Firstly, there is no need for a 165 lbs title,” Chael Sonnen expressed his skepticism.

A New Era for UFC?

Cormier’s proposal underscores a larger debate on the evolution of UFC’s weight classes. While the idea of introducing a super lightweight division faces hurdles, including regulatory approval and strategic fit within UFC’s framework, it also opens up a conversation about innovation and adaptation in the sport. Whether McGregor and Chandler will be the ones to vie for this hypothetical new title remains to be seen. However, Cormier’s vision for a revamped weight class system invites fans and stakeholders to reimagine the future of UFC competition.

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