The most surprising modification to the unified rules of mixed martial arts that was made by the ABC this past week were the major changes to the weight classes. The change would undoubtedly have a huge impact on the UFC, which takes pride in following the unified rules. So how does Dana White and Co. feel about the ABC’s weight class revisions?
“There’s going to be a fight,” said White when talking about new rules being implemented. “And you know I don’t roll over easily.”
White unequivocally said they have no intention of changing or adding to the company’s current five current weight classes: Lightweight (155-pound maximum); welterweight (170); middleweight (185); light heavyweight (205) and heavyweight (265).
The new unified rules include an ill-thought-out 14 different weight classes, particularly the addition of 215 and 225 pound divisions, which makes little sense with the dearth of quality heavyweights from 205 to 265 pounds to begin with.
“No, we’re not following that,” he said.
Like I said, this would completely shake everything up inside the UFC. If they were to keep they’re lowest weight limit of 155 lbs, the UFC would have eight divisions and eight champions instead of five, and a lot of big fights that should happen likely wouldn’t since the talent would be spread across so many divisions. I can’t blame Dana on this one.
Former UFC referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy has been leading the charge for the rule changes (although I don’t believe he was fighting for more weight classes), and Dana apparently isn’t too happy with him.
With these new changes, including a ban on putting hands over the mouth or nose, but legalizing the straight up-and-down elbow strikes that had been banned, White believes he’s got a new enemy. And it’s a referee who at one time was the longest-lasting fixture in the company.
“It’s John McCarthy,” White said. “He doesn’t want to be a referee anymore, now he wants to change the rules. And he’s announcing for Affliction.”
Nothing pisses the UFC off more when former icons in their company don’t follow the company grain anymore, although it’s important to note McCarthy was alway employed by the athletic commissions, but is still more closely recognized as part of the UFC. I have a feeling Dana is more upset about the Affliction deal than the rules changes.
Just another battle for the number one promotion to fight.