ABC unanimously approves additional weight classes for MMA

Above: From 2013-2015 Conor McGregor made the difficult weight cut to compete in the UFC 145lb featherweight division

By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran

Reports have today confirmed that on July 26 the USA’s Association of Boxing Commissions and Combative Sports (ABC) voted unanimously to approve the introduction of four extra weight classes for mixed martial arts.

The ABC, who set the standards of the Unified Rules of MMA, and of which are adhered to by MMA promoters worldwide, approved the addition of four new weight classes, per MMAFighting.com: at 165 pounds, 175 pounds, 195 pounds and 225 pounds. The weight classes will be called super-lightweight, super-welterweight, super-middleweight and cruiserweight, respectively. The current 170-pound division — welterweight — will remain in the Unified Rules.

The proposal of additional weight divisions was first reported in April as part of a weight cutting reform package adopted by the MMA rules and regulations committee and first introduced through the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC).

The changes could usher a major shift in the MMA landscape, not only with the potential for new championship belts in the UFC and other major organisations, but also by effectively eliminating the need for dangerous weight cutting practices. However, promoters are not obliged to introduce the new weight divisions and it is yet to be seen how long athletes will take to fully embrace the new opportunities.

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