Michael Chiesa is the latest fighter to miss weight in a high-profile fight; Max Holloway was removed from the most anticipated fight of UFC 226 for exhibiting concussion-like symptoms. The old adage goes: if it’s not broke don’t fix it. True as that may be in most instances, the UFC needs to institute more weight classes and they need to do it now.
What is it going to take for Dane White and company to realize that more divisions are imperative for the sport of MMA to continue to grow and flourish? Lets hope that more athletes don’t need to pay the ultimate price for others ignorance.
Try as I might, I just cant understand why White wouldn’t want more weight classes? After all, more classes would equate to more fighters, more championship titles, more title fights, and an overall saver environment for athletes to compete in. It would seem more weight classes is a winning solution for all parties involved.
When Max Holloway was removed from UFC 226 earlier this week, I can assure you that most people, including myself thought it had to be due to weight cutting issues. Turns out, the featherweight champion was exhibiting concussion-like symptoms, so we are told. The jury is still out on whether that is a genuine reason or not.
Regardless, if there were more weight classes for fighters to compete in, they would not be forced to cut obscene amounts of weight. Take the aforementioned Michael Chiesa who missed weight by 1.5-pounds for his lightweight fight against Anthony Pettis at UFC 226. Chiesa would go on to say this would be the last time he competes at lightweight. Chiesa is a massive 155’er, having stood next to him personally, I can tell you that he is every bit of 6’3″; how “Mav” has ever tipped the scales at lightweight is truly remarkable.
Hopefully these latest missteps will encourage the UFC brass to at least reconsider rolling out some more weight classes. Fighter safety should be of paramount importance.
Watch: Michael Chiesa misses weight at UFC 226 early weigh ins
Mike Straus @AKAstraus21 is a credentialed MMA journalist and a member of the MMAJA. He has been a fan of the sport since its inception and has been covering the sport professionally for three years. In the past, he has produced content for Fansided’s Cagepages, mma-media.com, and Combatpress.com. He currently contributes for MyMMANews.com, he is a staff writer for Cagesidepress.com, and LowKickMMA.com. He most recently began writing for BJPenn.com.