Demetrious Johnson suggests having more weight classes in MMA

Weight-cutting is perpetually one of the hottest topics of debate among the MMA community, and ONE flyweight world champion Demetrious Johnson has his own opinions.

Having fought for multiple promotions across 125 and 135 lbs, he’s seen more than his fair share of weight cuts. In a recent appearance on The Joe Rogan ExperienceJohnson shared some thoughts on how he’d like to amend current weight classes:

“It’s not like it’s going to hurt anybody’s brand to add more weight classes. It will give athletes more opportunities to make money in mixed martial arts.”

He added:

“In Singapore, I see the guys who make 125 like Jarred Brooks and Alex Silva. We’re all the same height. I’m like how the f*** are you guys making 125 hydrated? I can do it, but when I’m next to them, I’m girthier, I’m bigger, but I’m the same height. So ideally, it gives people the opportunity to be in certain weight classes where, if they were at 135, they’d be at a size disadvantage.”

Other regional promotions around the world have already experimented with adding weight classes, but it will likely take a larger organization to take the step to move the industry forward as a whole. Many promotions point to the value of being able to give out more belts to give meaning to events as a reason to add weight classes.

Currently, ONE Championship has the standard weight classes between 125lbs and 265lbs, with the addition of a 225lbs weight class for male MMA fighters. For women, the promotion has held fights from 115lbs to 135lbs. However, they do things differently.

ONE prohibits extreme weight cutting via dehydration by having athletes compete at their natural ‘walk-around’ weights. They conduct hydration testing during weigh-ins to ensure that fighters are adequately hydrated 24 hours before they fight. This has proven to be safer for athletes.

Demetrious Johnson enjoys how ONE Championship is “mixing it up”

By the time Demetrious Johnson joined ONE Championship, he’d already accomplished almost everything he could in MMA. Having fought the cream of the crop in his division across the WEC and UFC, he was ready for new experiences in ONE Championship.

In the same JRE appearance, Johnson had this to say about his ONE experience:

“We had one boxing match, which was for a WBC title – boxing gloves, full-blown boxing. It was a world title fight. That’s one of the things I love about ONE Championship is that they’re mixing it up so when I got the opportunity to go there and compete like I knew I had the opportunity to do something fun like I did with Rodtang.”

So far, Demetrious Johnson has captured the flyweight MMA world championship in ONE and competed in a mixed-rules fight with Rodtang. He’s also entertained competing in the new grappling division against athletes like Mikey Musemeci.

The Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt is a complete fighter and has the freedom to compete in whichever opportunity comes his way, be it MMA, striking, grappling, or something in between.

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