주요 콘텐츠로 건너뛰기
A detail view of the scale reading 155.5 pounds after Charles Oliveira of Brazil failed to make weight, vacating the UFC lightweight championship
Weigh-in

Understanding UFC Weight Classes

An Overview Of Every UFC Weight Class And How UFC Weigh-Ins Operate

In mixed martial arts, athletes compete in weight classes where they must weigh in at or around a specific weight the day before their fight at the UFC official weigh-ins. 

 The UFC currently has 12 weight classes, all that require fighters to weigh in under a desired limit. Generally, fighters try to weigh in at the exact limit so they can lose the least amount of weight during the weight cutting process while still meeting the required number on the scale.

Failure to reach the required weight results in either the athlete forfeiting a percentage of their fight purse to their opponent, an agreement between the two athletes to compete at a non-weight class specific weight (catchweight) or having the fight cancelled altogether.

Please enable Javascript to view this content

UFC official weigh-ins are held the day before fight night and require athletes to weigh-in between 9am and 11am local time. Depending on the State Athletic Commission regulating the bout, and / or the amount of weight required to be made, an athlete who misses weight may be given one additional hour from the time of their weigh-in to try and lose the remaining weight and try again.

For non-title bouts, athletes can weigh one pound above the division’s weight limit, whereas title fights require athletes to weigh in at exactly, or under, the specific weight.

Sound confusing? That’s because it is! So here is everything you need to know to understand UFC weight classes:

Strawweight – 115 pounds

Zhang Weili of China kicks Carla Esparza in the UFC strawweight championship bout during the UFC 281 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Zhang Weili of China kicks Carla Esparza in the UFC strawweight championship bout during the UFC 281 event at Madison Square Garden on November 12, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

The strawweight division is the lightest division currently in the UFC and one of the four women’s weight classes. In 2014, former strawweight champion Carla Esparza defeated Rose Namajunas to become the inaugural champion. Since then, the division has seen its fair share of UFC legends, like Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Rose Namajunas. Zhang Weili is the current champion after adding another title defense to her reign at UFC 300.

For non-title bouts, strawweight athletes have a one-pound leeway on the scale, meaning they can weigh up to 116 pounds. For title bouts, athletes must weigh in at or under 115 pounds.

Flyweight – 125 pounds

Alexandre Pantoja of Brazil poses for photo prior to the UFC 301 at Sugar Loaf on April 29, 2024 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)
Alexandre Pantoja of Brazil poses for photo prior to the UFC 301 at Sugar Loaf on April 29, 2024 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC)

The flyweight division is the first of three weight classes to host both a men’s and women’s division. These two divisions have seen new champions in 2023, with Alexa Grasso winning the women's belt at UFC 285 in March and Alexandre Pantoja taking the throne on the men's side at UFC 290 in July. Pantoja successfully retained the flyweight title with a unanimous decision win over contender Brandon Royval at UFC 296 and Steve Erceg at UFC 301.

For non-title bouts, flyweight athletes can weigh in up to 126 pounds, while title fights require athletes to weigh in at or under 125 pounds.

Order UFC 302: Makhachev vs Poirier

In 2020, former division champion Deiveson Figueiredo was scheduled to fight in a flyweight championship bout against Joseph Benavidez. However, Figueiredo weighed in at 127.5 pounds, 2.5 pounds over the championship limit. Despite winning the fight, Figueiredo did not become champion since he missed weight, and instead was given a rematch five months later.

Bantamweight – 135 pounds

Sean O'Malley reacts after his victory against Marlon Vera of Ecuador in the UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 299 event at Kaseya Center on March 09, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Sean O'Malley reacts after his victory against Marlon Vera of Ecuador in the UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 299 event at Kaseya Center on March 09, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Another weight class to have both a men’s and women’s division, the bantamweight divisions have held some of the most iconic athletes and epic fights of this generation. One of the pioneers of women’s MMA, Ronda Rousey, built her legacy in the bantamweight division, amassing six successful title defenses as the division’s first champion.

"Suga" Sean O’Malley holds the title on the men’s side after securing a second-round TKO against former champion Aljamain Sterling at UFC 292. The champion defended his title for the first time at UFC 299 against Marlon “Chito” Vera.

For non-title bouts, bantamweight athletes can weigh in up to 136 pounds, while title fights require a 135-pound limit.

Featherweight – 145 pounds

Ilia Topuria celebrates after his knockout victory against Alexander Volkanovski of Australia in the UFC featherweight championship fight during the UFC 298 event at Honda Center on February 17, 2024 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Ilia Topuria celebrates after his knockout victory against Alexander Volkanovski of Australia in the UFC featherweight championship fight during the UFC 298 event at Honda Center on February 17, 2024 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

The last weight class to feature both a men’s and women’s division is featherweight. Originating in 2010, after absorbing WEC’s 145-pound weight class, the UFC featherweight division has been the home to some of the most highly anticipated matchups in UFC history, including an iconic title bout between inaugural division champion José Aldo and Irish superstar Conor McGregor. In the featherweight title bout at UFC 298: Volkanovski vs Topuria, Ilia Topuria, the current featherweight champion, defeated Alexander Volkanovski, who had previously defended his title successfully five times. The now-retired Amanda Nunes is the most recent champion on the women's side.

For non-title bouts, featherweight athletes can weigh in up to 146 pounds, while title fights require athletes to weigh in at or under 145 pounds.

Lightweight – 155 pounds

Islam Makhachev of Russia reacts after his knockout victory against Alexander Volkanovski of Australia in the UFC lightweight championship fight during the UFC 294 event at Etihad Arena on October 21, 2023 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Islam Makhachev of Russia reacts after his knockout victory against Alexander Volkanovski of Australia in the UFC lightweight championship fight during the UFC 294 event at Etihad Arena on October 21, 2023 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Chr

Known as one of the deepest divisions in terms of talent, the UFC lightweight division has been the center of attention in recent years after the retirement of UFC Hall of Famer and former lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

UFC 299 COUNTDOWN: Full Episode | O'Malley vs Vera | Poirier vs Saint Denis | Holland vs Page 

At UFC 280: Oliveira vs Makhachev, current lightweight champion Islam Makhachev defeated Charles Oliveira in their lightweight title bout, a title that was vacant due to former champion Oliveira missing weight by half a pound (155.5) ahead of his championship bout against Justin Gaethje at UFC 274.

Makhachev has had two successful title defenses since taking the top spot, both against Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 284 and UFC 294.

For non-title bouts, lightweight athletes can weigh in up to 156 pounds, while title fights require athletes to weigh in at or under 155 pounds.

Welterweight – 170 pounds

Michael 'Venom' Page of England prepares to face Kevin Holland in a welterweight fight during the UFC 299 event at Kaseya Center on March 09, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Michael 'Venom' Page of England prepares to face Kevin Holland in a welterweight fight during the UFC 299 event at Kaseya Center on March 09, 2024 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

The welterweight division is the first 15-pound jump between weight classes and has seen a rise in contenders as of late. In 2022, Leon Edwards stunned former welterweight champion and former pound-for-pound No. 1 Kamaru Usman with a fifth-round KO in the main event of UFC 278. Khamzat Chimaev and Belal Muhammad have also solidified their places in the Top 5 with dominant performances.

At UFC 296, Edwards successfully defended the title for the second time after a grueling 5 round battle in the Octagon with Colby Covington.

Dana White Announces Key Bouts For UFC 304 In Manchester

Despite a larger jump in weight between divisions, for non-title bouts, welterweight athletes can still only weigh in up to 176 pounds, while title fights require athletes to weigh in at or under 170 pounds.

Middleweight – 185 pounds

Paulo Costa of Brazil is introduced prior to facing Luke Rockhold in a middleweight fight during the UFC 278 event at Vivint Arena on August 20, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)
Paulo Costa of Brazil is introduced prior to facing Luke Rockhold in a middleweight fight during the UFC 278 event at Vivint Arena on August 20, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

Sean Strickland claimed the UFC middleweight championship in the main event of UFC 293 in Sydney by Defeating Israel Adesanya in a grueling five-round encounter.

Dricus Du Plessis now holds the belt after defeating Sean Strickland at UFC 297 by Split Decision.

For non-title bouts, middleweight athletes can weigh in up to 186 pounds, while title fights require athletes to weigh in at or under 185 pounds.

Light heavyweight – 205 pounds

Alex Pereira of Brazil knocks out Jamahal Hill in the UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 300 event at T-Mobile Arena on April 13, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)
Alex Pereira of Brazil knocks out Jamahal Hill in the UFC light heavyweight championship fight during the UFC 300 event at T-Mobile Arena on April 13, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

A 20-pound jump from middleweight, the light heavyweight division has featured one of UFC greatest talents of all-time including Jon Jones. “Bones” held the light heavyweight belt from 2011-2015 and 2018-2020, amassing 11 successful title defenses during that time. Alex Pereira now holds the belt after defeating Jiří Procházka by round 2 KO at UFC 295. Pereira defended his title versus former champion Jamahal Hill at UFC 300.

For non-title bouts, light heavyweight athletes can weigh in up to 206 pounds, while title fights require athletes to weigh in at or under 205 pounds.

Heavyweight – 265 pounds

Jailton Almeida of Brazil attempts to take down Derrick Lewis in a heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Ibirapuera Gymnasium on November 04, 2023 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Pedro Vilela/Zuffa LLC)
Jailton Almeida of Brazil attempts to take down Derrick Lewis in a heavyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Ibirapuera Gymnasium on November 04, 2023 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Pedro Vilela/Zuffa LLC)

Here’s where it gets fun. The UFC heavyweight division has the most leeway of any division in the promotion, with athletes often weighing in several pounds under the required limit.

For example, at UFC Paris in September 2022, Ciryl Gane weighed in for his heavyweight bout at 247 pounds, while Tai Tuivasa his opponent weighed in at the heavyweight non-title limit of 266 pounds. Some heavyweight athletes choose to have this weight discrepancy so they can have a slight speed or strength advantage, depending on their skill set and fight style.

RELATED: Unrivaled Greatness | UFC 300: Pereira vs Hill

For non-title bouts, heavyweight athletes can weigh in up to 266 pounds, while title fights require athletes to weigh in at or under 265 pounds.

While the UFC waits for Jon Jones to make his return, Tom Aspinall holds the gold after scoring the interim heavyweight belt at UFC 295 with a round one TKO against Sergei Pavlovich. He will look to defend the interim spot against Curtis Blaydes in a rematch taking place at UFC 304 in Manchester, England.