Over the last few weeks, a seemingly endless list of fighters have called for the UFC to abolish the traditional 170-pound welterweight division and replace it with new 165-pound and 175-pound divisions. There was even buzz about the possibility of Nate Diaz and Dustin Poirier battling for the inaugural 165-pound title in the UFC 230 main event this November 3. While this seems like a great idea in theory, however, UFC President Dana White isn’t interested.
He explained why in a recent interview with ESPN.
“Never even considered it,” Dana White said, referencing a potential 165-pound title fight between Poirier and Diaz (transcript via BloodyElbow). “It’s all just talk, I never even considered it. First of all, you make 165-pounds, you’re gonna start pulling people from the 170-pound division. And you’re going to see a lot of people from 170 and 155 that couldn’t win a title jumping to 165 to try to fight for a title there. It just doesn’t make sense.”
“We’ve always kept things simple. One of the things about boxing is you used to have junior middleweight, super-middleweight, and all these different weights, and it was hard to follow. You didn’t really know who was the champion, and this is pretty simple and easy to follow. We have enough weight classes.”
While Dana White doesn’t seem sold on this idea right now, he might change his tune when he hears that his biggest star, former UFC lightweight and featherweight champion Conor McGregor, is a big supporter of it.
“Maybe [Nate Diaz and I] could spearhead a 165-pound division,” McGregor said in a recent interview with Karyn Bryant. “I do believe we should go 145, 155, 165, 175, 185, even 195. Why not? There’s more belts.”
“They’re stripping people [of titles] left and right,” McGregor added, discussing the merits of adding more weight classes. “They stripped me and I only walked out the damn cage. They didn’t even offer me a fight and I was getting stripped. And then Cormier was injured or something happened to him and I got stripped of my second belt because of that reason just so they can juice up cards with belts. Well hey, stick in more weight divisions, more champions.”
“It’s gonna help the athletes, I believe, with weight-cutting and things like that. So maybe me and Diaz can do the trilogy at 165.”
Do you think Dana White will ever come around on a potential 165-pound division?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 10/4/2018.