Within the last 8 years, the UFC has been adding numerous divisions to the spotlight and even more since Ronda Rousey and the bantamweight division.
With all the divisions racking up contenders with dominant champions, it’s time the UFC should add more weight classes for a few simple reasons: weight cutting and more stars holding titles.
Weight cutting would give athletes more room to jump around and fight at different weights. If the UFC were to go this route, they could have a weight class for every ten pounds and I truly think that would help with the terrible weight cuts happening as of late and could reduce the amount of fights that get nixed for medical issues.
The UFC would also have more champions. More champions equals more pay-per-views and the potential to make more superstars while making money fights. We could see more Champ vs Champ fights since it’s what fans want to see. One of the divisions the UFC could potentially make is the atomweight division. This could be an addition to the women’s division, which is currently active in Invicta FC. Michelle Waterson reigned over the division before coming to the UFC and aside from her, there are many women fighting at 105-pounds.
If the UFC were to buy the atomweight division from Invicta or create their own, it would already have a set division which is what the featherweight division is currently struggling with. You would also see many smaller 115-pound fighters moving down to 105-pounds.
It would be amazing to see various weight classes in the women’s division at this level. It is a division that would bring top talent, speed, and technique. Here is what an atomweight UFC division could potentially look like.
UFC Strawweights who could move down in weight…
1. Alex Chambers
Alex is a strawweight who would do great moving down to 105-pounds. I truly think it would benefit her. Chambers has been around the 115-pound division since the beginning of The Ultimate Fighter. Alex is an undersized strawweight and in previous fights has struggled with the size of her oppenent. Example in her fight with Nadia Kassem at UFC Fight Night 121. Nadia missed weight by four pounds and Paige VanZant who previously beat Chambers is now a flyweight.
2. Jodie Esquibel
It is well known that Jodie is a very undersized strawweight in her fight against Karolina. Her strength could not keep up with Karolina’s. Jodie is a very talented and well-rounded fighter, but at strawweight we haven’t seen all she could do. I think we will see the best of her introducing the atomweight division.
3. Michelle Waterson
The Karatie Hottie is a former Invicta FC atomweight champion and lost the belt to Herica Tiburcio. After that fight, Waterson decided to move up and take her world class talent to the UFC to begin her campaign at 115-pounds. But make no mistake, if the UFC does take on this new division, Waterson would have much more options and being a household name with talent, it wouldn’t be surprising if she opened the division. After her win over Karolina at UFC Philadelphia, it’s inevitable she would be the first in line to fight for that title.
Invicta FC Atomweight fighters that would go to the UFC.
1. Ayaka Hamasaki
Ayaka is one of the best atomweights in the world, period. She has a record of 14-2 and has never suffered a defeat at 105-pounds. She is the former Invicta FC Atomweight world champion and although she is not the champion at the moment, she did not lose the belt in competition. She has played around with moving up but has not yet. Her two loses are both at strawweight and are from Claudia Gadelha via TKO and Livia Renata also via TKO.
2. Jinh Yu Frey
All nine of Jinh’s fights were at atomweight and it would be a no-brainer to bring her in to the division. She is the current Invicta FC bantamweight champion. Her only loses are to Jodie Esquibel, Ayaka Hamasaki, and Seo Hee Ham. She would be an amazing addition for that UFC atomweight roster.
3. Ashley Cummins
Cummins is a fighter who dropped down from strawweight, she was a very undersized fighter and faced years of adversity trying to overcome the size advantage of her opponents. Cummins came close a few times to getting those wins. She came close to making it to the UFC at strawweight too, but lost to Lanchana Green on The Ultimate Fighter. Since moving down to her natural weight and giving up the possibility of being in the UFC, Cummins has been on a tare and has never looked better. Ashley is emerging into a true world contender. Her only loss at 105-pounds is to Frey by a very close decision. She has two wins under the Invicta banner and would be a great addition if UFC created this division.
4. Herica Tiburcio
Tiburico is a top atomweight and is no one to be played with. She is one of the premiere women at atomweight for Invicta FC. She was the one who dethroned Michele Waterson, beating her up pretty bad. something that is not easy to do she did that to a women who is currently beating bigger girl up right now in the ufc. Her only loses have came from elite competition such as Frey, Hamasaki, and top five strawweight contender Claudia Gadelha. She is currently on a two fight winning streak and looking to do some big things, joining the UFC could be one of those.
5. Amber Brown
Brown is a fighter who jumps in between weight classes: atomweight and strawweight. She has gone on record to say she would love to stay at 105-pounds as long as she can. She has three submission wins in the Invicta atomweight division, all in the first round.
There are so many more atomweights at Invicta FC that would easily be no-brainers for the UFC to sign. We’ve seen Dana White turn down the 165-pound division, however this one would be the easiest division to launch. It easily has a top 200 as of right now. Some other names that ring a bell in the atomweight division at Invicta are Minna Grusander, Alesha Zappitella, Tessa Simpson, Julia Jones, and Catherine Costigan. On the Asian MMA scene, you could also sign Seo Hee Ham, Ham is actually is a former UFC Strawweight who went 1-3 in the promotion. There is also Mina Kurobe. Kurobe is the Deep Jewels atomweight champion and has been close to capturing titles in other promotions. She has a record of 12-3 and would be a great fit for the UFC.
This would be the easiest money Dana could make as there are atomweights all over the world.
Here is a list of a few promtions that have a 105-pound champions. The UFC could tackle these promotions before building theirs:
- Invicta FC
- Combate America
- King of the Cage
- One FC
And a fighter that I did not mention, but it can not go unnoticed is Amanda Serrano. Serrano is a former world boxing champion, the only woman to win world titles in 6 weight classes, a few of those world titles being at 105, 115, 125, and 145-pounds. Amanda is very fit and can make 105-pounds with no problem. She is still new to MMA, but is coming up in the Combate America promotion, currently fighting at 115-pounds. She would not hesitate to go back down for a chance in the UFC when the time comes.