Last year, the Association of Boxing Commissions approved the addition of four new weight classes to MMA - 165 pounds, 175 pounds, 195 pounds, and 225 pounds. Since then, the idea of adding these weight classes, particularly a 165-pound division, has gathered steam with the fighters who claim that making the cut to 155 pounds is too taxing on their bodies but feel disadvantaged competing at 170 pounds. Now, it looks like two of the UFC’s biggest assets are trying to will that into existence.
On Thursday, in response to rumors that the UFC was searching for a main event to headline their return to Madison Square Garden at UFC 230, and were even considering creating an interim title because no champion could step in, UFC lightweight Dustin Poirier stepped in to offer up this possibility.
I hear UFC is searching for a main event when they have one already. It's me vs Nate. 165 pound title. A main event for the people. Stop searching, Dana. We got this. Let's go.— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) September 25, 2018
Poirier and Diaz are set to face each other in the co-main event of UFC 230 in a bout that may well serve as a number one contender’s bout for the winner of the Khabib Nurmagomedov-Conor McGregor fight that will go down at UFC 229. Diaz seemingly liked Poirier’s idea because he picked up the ball and went ahead and announced that their fight would be for the first 165-pound championship.
I’m Happy to announce that I’m bringing a new weight devision to the Ufc— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) September 26, 2018
I’ll be fighting the main event November 3rd in nyc against Dustin Poirier for the first ever 165lb belt superfighter devision
I’m happy to be apart of history @ufc @danawhite
Not long after, Poirier jumped on the bandwagon.
Unfortunately for both fighters, UFC President Dana White has yet to sign off on the idea and, according to reports, has no intention of doing so.
Just spoke to Dana White on the phone, he denied any plans of a 165-pound title fight at Madison Square Garden. Says he’s still working on a main event for UFC 230.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) September 26, 2018
Of course, Diaz and Poirier do not need the UFC to create a 165-pound title. As they both are seemingly attempting to force the UFC’s hand in the issue, the two could come to a gentleman’s agreement about their weigh-in and then compete for their own belt. It wouldn’t stand as the official UFC 165-pound title, but since the UFC has no 165 division anyway, there would be no official champion to dispute the belt.
Of course, this all could be totally legit. After all, Dana White has a history of saying things that end up being incorrect.
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Here’s Nate from a few years ago on the subject.
@ufc more weight classes ASAP ??— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) April 22, 2013
More super fights more champion vs champion ,closer to weight better fights more potential ...
Other fighters like the idea.
If @ufc make 165lbs division you can count on me for that run.— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) September 25, 2018
125lbs,135,145,155,165,175,185,195,205 and heavyweights. Theses divisions would be ideal for MMA in my opinion.— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) September 25, 2018
165?? For Real???— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) September 26, 2018
If there is really going to be 165 lb division does that mean they're getting rid of 170 and going up to 175?— James Vick (@JamesVickMMA) September 26, 2018
Say less. I’m having champagne with dinner tonight https://t.co/MNFLFrPKXV— Kevin MTP Lee (@MoTownPhenom) September 26, 2018
Update for all of Anthony’s supporters. pic.twitter.com/3zQ6dHFb1j— Ray Borg (@tazmexufc) September 25, 2018
I need a Khabib-DC buddy cop show.
Rick Story (15-5) vs. Handesson Ferreira (12-1-1); PFL 10, Oct. 20.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2003: Randy Couture became the UFC light heavyweight champion when he stopped Tito Ortiz at UFC 44. In the co-main event, Tim Sylvia knocked out Gan McGee to retain his heavyweight title. Sylvia was later stripped for failing a post-fight drug test.
First of all, I’d like to reiterate that this is all absurd. Look at all those fighters essentially saying “It is extremely hard to cut to 155 but the 5-pound difference between 165 and 170 is far too much. I’ll never be able to compete.” The weight cutting culture is a plague that has rotted the minds of so many fighters. Look at Daniel Cormier, T.J. Dillashaw, and Robert Whittaker. They thrive competing with light weight cuts.
Second, If the UFC really does add a 165-pound weight class, I damn sure hope they move 170 up to 175. Also, controversial opinion, but if they do make 170 into 175, Woodley should be the last 170-pound champion and the 175 belt should not be awarded to him. Not that he isn’t a great champion - he is - but he is the champion of a 170 pounds. If we’ve accepted the fighters premise that we need a 165 weight class because 5 pounds is too much to overcome, then the logical conclusion to that is that Woodley’s wins at 170 shouldn’t have any bearing on a 175-pound championship.
Third, I hope Nate and Dustin make up their own belt. If Nate and Dustin bring a belt to the cage, it feels like most fighters would sort of accept that as the de facto 165-pound belt and then try to fight the winner. There’s a genuine opportunity for them to force the UFC’s hand - the same way Eddie should have created the “Most Violent” title and run with that. Just my two cents.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
Would you like to see the UFC implement a 165 pound weight class?
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Yes, if they move 170 to 175.
Yes, but keep 170.