Dana White: No Plans to Add New Weight Classes in UFC Beyond Women’s 145 in 2017

By Tristen Critchfield Dec 29, 2016
It appears that Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s dreams of becoming a two-division champion in the UFC will have to wait.

While the Las Vegas-based promotion will introduce a 145-pound women’s division in 2017, UFC President Dana White says there are no other plans to add more weight classes next year. In June, Joanne Calderwood defeated Valerie Letourneau in a bout contested at 125 pounds, leading to speculation that the UFC was moving toward adding a female flyweight division. Shortly thereafter, Jedrzejczyk, the reigning 115-pound queen, expressed a desire to hold a title at 125 pounds as well.

According to White, the women’s featherweight division wasn’t supposed to happen, either. Holly Holm and Germaine de Randamie will square off for the inaugural 145-pound belt at UFC 208 on Feb. 11.

No [there are no plans to add new weight classes in 2017]. That was never the plan to do that one [145 pounds] either, but who knows,” White said during a media scrum in Las Vegas on Wednesday. “Maybe one of those two will win the belt, we’ll find a contender and we’ll see how this all plays out.”

Of course, the recent issues surrounding Cristiane Justino threw a monkey wrench into the UFC’s plans for the 145-pound division. First, “Cyborg” turned down a pair of featherweight title fights, claiming that she needed 12 weeks to be able to cut to 145 pounds following a brutal cut to 140 pounds for a bout at UFC Fight Night 95 on Sept. 24. More recently, the Brazilian tested positive for a diuretic in an out-of-competition sample and could be facing a one-year suspension from USADA.

“The plans that I had for 145, it didn’t go the way I thought it was going to go,” White said. “Both of those girls wanted to fight Cyborg. Stylistically, they were both great matchups for Cyborg, Germaine and Holly. Cyborg got her 145-pound title in her division and that all blew up on me.”

When Justino signed on with Zuffa, White said it was never a consideration to create a new weight class for her. Instead, he claims the Brazilian was willing to make 135 pounds for an eventual showdown with Ronda Rousey.

“If you were in the discussion when she came on board, she was 100 percent into cutting down to 35,” White said. “She met with Lorenzo [Fertitta]m and their plan was to get to 135. Obviously that’s the money division. But maybe she could have turned [featherweight] into something. But that was never the original plan.”

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