With ONE Championship’s new weigh-in system set to take place in 2016, the weight class the fighters have been competing in will be taking a big change. Victor Cui, CEO of the promotion recently appeared on Fox Sports Asia to address the changes that could have a dramatic effect on the landscape of MMA.
From Yahoo! Sports:
“It’s really quite simple, all our athletes will move up a weight class together and in unison.”
The ONE Championship head honcho also made it clear that the existing titleholders would not be stripped of their belts.
“All champions will retain their titles.”
Cui confirmed that this means reigning bantamweight champion Bibiano Fernandes will become the 145-pound champion. Therefore, Dedamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke will be titleholder at 125 pounds, Kairat Akhmetov at 135 pounds, Marat Gafurov at 155 pounds, Shinya Aoki at 170 pounds, Ben Askren at 185 pounds, and Vitaly Bigdash at 205 pounds.
One issue not addressed during the broadcast is what will happen to the 205-pound division, which currently doesn’t have a champion. Fighters like Jake Butler, Roger Gracie and Cristiano Kaminishi, who normally fight at 205 pounds, could find themselves competing as heavyweights unless ONE Championship takes the unprecedented step of adding a new weight class between 205 and 265 pounds.
Cui says that he hopes the other promotions will join in implementing the new system to promote a more safe and healthy way for fighters to compete. Do you think the UFC and Bellator will join in? Share your thoughts in the comments!