Midnight Mania! Top Ranked Lightweight Claims 165-Pound Division Coming To UFC

 Fiziev v Gamrot
Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

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Is it time for a new UFC weight class?

For several years now, fighters have pushed for the inclusion of a 165-pound class. The idea is relatively simple: Lightweight and Welterweight are regarded as two of the more talent-rich divisions in the sport. If the options available were 155-, 165-, and 175-pounds rather than the current 155- and 170-pounds, that same roster of athletes (plus a few smaller Middleweights) would occupy three divisions rather than two. Leon Edwards would have to choose whether his belt carried over to 165- or 175-pounds, but otherwise, not a ton of change would be required.

In addition to giving athletes more options, it would benefit the UFC as well. After all, male champions defending their titles are the most common source of pay-per-view (PPV) main events, and this adds another belt to the mix. Hell, it’s even another belt that Conor McGregor could try to fight for! Maybe Khamzat Chimaev could make 175 pounds too, seeing as he’s somewhat stranded between Welterweight and Middleweight.

According to UFC Lightweight contender Rafael Fiziev, there’s more to the idea than mere rumor. In fact, Fiziev claims that the promotion is actively working towards adding the 165-pound class.

“This is not a rumor,” Fiziev told Russian outlet Ushatayka (via SportsKeeda). “This is already for sure as far as I know. I heard that this is already true and even they have already fought, they even identified something there, I heard. Yes.”

Fiziev most recently appeared opposite Mateusz Gamrot back in September 2023. The 30-year-old Muay Thai fighter was holding his own against the wrestler when he suddenly suffered a torn ACL in the second round, ending the contest and forcing him to the sidelines. Fiziev should be back sometime this year, but regardless of any new weight class, he intends to return at Lightweight.

“I feel good at [155]. I ate pasta during the week of the fight. I ate in Fight Week, even before the weigh-in. I’ve never had any issue with this. I just, out of discipline, sat down well before as I got a hold of it after the fight. Now, the experience has already come where you can restrain yourself where you need to not get ahold of something for the night. You don’t have to eat 10 snickers. That’s why it’s become much easier to lose weight in my last four fights. I generally lose weight like this, that’s why [165], no.”

Maybe someone convinced Dana White to change his mind? It’s happened before.

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Source: 
https://www.mmamania.com/2024/2/28/24085295/midnight-mania-top-ranked-ufc-lightweight-contender-claims-165-pound-division-happening-rumor-espn