Conor McGregor Calls For “Many More” Weight Divisions; Will The UFC Get on Board Now?

LAS VEGAS, NV - AUGUST 25: UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor poses before his official weigh-in at T-Mobile Arena on August 25, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. McGregor will meet boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a super welterweight boxing match at T-Mobile Arena on August 26. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

So far, the growing calls for the UFC to add more weight divisions has gone unheard, but now that the sport’s biggest star, Conor McGregor has made the same demand, will the promotion listen?

Talk about adding weight divisions in MMA is not new. In fact, at one point, the lack of divisions in the sport was seen as an advantage. The argument being that having too many divisions made it too hard for fans to follow which fighter was fighting where, and who held what belt. As is often the case in boxing. Further, many argued that MMA was supposed to be about ‘real fighting’, or at least, a closer approximation of it, and that having fewer divisions was more in keeping with that.

But, in recent years, as MMA has grown, and as medical issues with fighters making weight have piled up, the pendulum has gone the other way. Now, more and more fans and fighters have been calling for new divisions. Most recently, of course, with Nate Diaz and Dustin Poirier publicly pressuring the UFC to add a 165 division, and have them fight for the belt November 3rd.

Well, recently McGregor was asked about all this, in advance of his bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov this Saturday at UFC 229. Here’s some of what the former lightweight and welterweight champ had to say (quotes via MMA Mania):

”The weight cuts are ruthless. I have gone through every single one of them throughout the years and I’ve never released footage. I’ve seen Till release some footage and it was an eye opener for people. This is the game that we’re in. It’s a horrible, horrible part of the business and if I could correct or come in and help a situation like that, I believe I’d like to come in and spearhead many more divisions in the game so we can figure this situation out. Because it’s not correct. You don’t see it happening in other sports as far as weigh ins are concerned. It shouldn’t be like this in the game. We should be on top of this.”

”There should be many more weights to choose from. 155 to 170, it’s a 15 pound gap. Even 10 pounds is … boxing is every three pounds there’s a new f**king division. So I mean, there’s definitely space for more divisions and something needs to be done so we can keep an eye on the way people are cutting weight and manage it and make it more enjoyable for the athletes that are actually competing. You’ll get better fights for it. You’ll get fighters that are able to do extraordinary things when they’re going in full of energy and correctly prepared rather than killing themselves.”

So, could McGregor’s thoughts on this make a difference? And push the UFC to add, say, a 165 class? It certainly can’t hurt. McGregor holds a ton of sway with the promotion, for understandable reasons, and if he continues to publicly campaign for this to happen, and his fanbase follows suit, it could be a significant factor. For example, what if after UFC 229, McGregor said he wants to fight Georges St-Pierre for the 165 title? It would be a fight where the winner would become the first person in UFC history to win titles in three different divisions.

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