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How many weight classes are there in ONE Championship?

ONE Championship lightweight champion, Christian Lee. (Image credit: @onechampionship via Instagram).
ONE Championship lightweight champion, Christian Lee. (Image credit: @onechampionship via Instagram).
ANALYST
Modified 22 Apr 2021
News

ONE Championship has a total of ten weight classes. The Singapore-based promotion has adopted a one-of-a-kind program that restricts grueling weight cut regimes.

Fighters signed to ONE Championship are expected to compete at their walking weight, which the promotion determines by conducting weigh-ins and tests on multiple occasions.

Overall, there are ten weight divisions in ONE Championship. The atomweight class, which is specifically meant for female fighters, has a minimum weight limit of 105 lb and an upper weight limit of 115 lb.

Both male and female competitors may fight in the following four weight classes: strawweight (upper weight limit of 125 lb), flyweight (135 lb), bantamweight (145 lb) and featherweight (155 lb).

Meanwhile, only male contenders are allowed to fight in the remaining five weight divisions: lightweight (170 lb), welterweight (185 lb), middleweight (205 lb), light heavyweight (225 lb) and heavyweight (265 lb).

There are six weight classes in kickboxing and five in Muay Thai. However, the minimum and upper weight limits don't fluctuate, irrespective of the martial art fighters are competing in.

Unlike the UFC, ONE Championship also allows its fighters to knee downed opponents. Additionally, they have an entirely different judging criterion compared to the UFC.

Why did ONE Championship ban weight cuts?

In December 2015, a Chinese fighter signed to ONE Championship, Yang Jian Bing, died after indulging in a punishing weight cut process. The 21-year-old endured severe dehydration to make weight successfully.

Following the tragic incident, the promotion banned weight cuts. They allowed the fighters to compete at their natural weight, without having to withstand the difficulties that stem from a backbreaking weight cut regime.

ONE Championship makes their fighters undergo several hydration tests. Only competitors who successfully pass these tests are given a green light to step into the ring. Those who fail the test are immediately disqualified from the fight.

The promotion also conducts random weigh-ins, so that they have an idea about the walking weight of their fighters.

Published 22 Apr 2021
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