UFC vs Boxing and More Weight Classes: No! Please No!

Darren Wong

Much has been made of the competition this weekend between UFC 103 and Mayweather Jr. vs Marquez.

Some people think that it will be a big victory or devastating defeat for whichever sport gets fewer PPV buys.

The other issue I've been hearing a lot about is the issue of whether the UFC should add a 195 lb weight class.

Both of these issues have been blown way out of proportion.

First off, if the UFC does happen to draw more PPV buys than boxing, that's great for the UFC, but it won't be the end of boxing. 

Boxing isn't going anywhere in the near future.  There are still a lot of boxing fans, especially internationally, so don't be counting boxing out based on one fight.

If Mayweather's fight draws more PPV buys than the UFC, this likewise shouldn't matter to the UFC. The UFC is going head to head with one of the biggest draws in boxing, and they're matching his main event between two top 10 pound-for-pound boxers including one of the best drawing boxers (Mayweather Jr.), against Rich Franklin who is possibly not even in the UFC's top 10 for drawing power, as well as a resurrected Vitor Belfort.

The UFC isn't exactly putting GSP and Brock Lesnar up against Mayweather.

Actually, if the UFC pulls more than 500,000 buys it will actually be a big achievement, because it will show that the UFC is able to put on a financially successful event without even having any titles on the line.

This is actually one area where MMA has been better than boxing.  In boxing, it seems like if someone loses one or two fights, the media starts calling for his retirement. In MMA, putting on an exciting fight is emphasized also, along with winning and obtaining belts.

Aside from those arguments please also remember that boxing and MMA fans aren't all from the same demographic. It's not like everybody is going to be hard pressed to choose between UFC and boxing.  A lot of people will decide which fight to watch based upon which sport they enjoy more.

As far as the weight class issue, I've already heard some media people like the MMA Live crew on ESPN calling for a 195 lb weight class.  For some reason, Rashad Evans thought this weight class would allow Rich Franklin to maybe hold a UFC belt once again.

Maybe so, but does anyone really think that he would do so much better against Anderson Silva at 195 that he could beat him? I don't.  If anything, a 195 lb weight class would probably give a place for the smaller light heavyweights like Rashad Evans, though I'm pretty sure that Anderson Silva could still rule such a division if he chose to do so.

If you're talking about a 195 lb weight class, really you're adding multiple weight classes.  The weight gap there would be 10 lbs, so then the lightweights and welterweights would also want more weight classes there because there are currently 15 lb gaps between lightweight and welterweight, and welterweight and middleweight. Not to mention that then the smaller heavyweights would probably want another weight class added at something like 235 lbs.

In order to accommodate all of these things, the minimum amount of weight classes you would need to add would actually be three weight classes, but in order to do that you'd actually need to move the welterweight limit up to 175 lbs so that there would be weight classes at 155, 165, 175, 185, 195, 205, 235, and 265.

If you want to keep the current welterweight limit, you'd probably need to split it so that the weight classes look like this: 155, 162.5, 170, 177.5, 185, 195, 205, 235, and 265.

However, this adds an extra weight class, and will make the bantamweights and flyweights unhappy, as their 10 lb gap is smaller than the gaps at higher weights.  Then you're really looking at classes at 135, 140, 145, 150, 155, 162.5, 170, 177.5, 185, 195, 205, 235, and 265.

That's 13 weight classes minimum, as we're not considering the lower flyweight class of 125, and the theoretical 130 lb division.  All of a sudden things will be like boxing, where nobody knows who the champions are, and all the belts are worth a little bit less.  There is a whole host of other problems this would cause, but I'd rather not consider it right now.

The only problem this would solve, would be that the UFC would then be able to put multiple belts on the line on every UFC card.

But please, let's not get carried away.

Let boxing stay the way it is.  Let the UFC and MMA stay the way they are.  Everything is fine, just the way it is!


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